The Builder Magazine
June 1916 - Volume II - Number 6
JACQUES BERNARD DE MOLAI
BY BRO. G. ALFRED LAWRENCE, NEW YORK
JACQUES Bernard de Molai (or de Molay), a native of Burgundy, was born in the
year 1243, and his life and times are of deep interest to Masons, and especially to
Knights Templar, owing to the fact of his being the last Grand Master of the Order
of Templars, together with his heroic martyrdom for the cause to which he had
devoted practically his entire life. He was the youngest brother of one of the most
distinguished houses of the "Compte" of Burgundy, his elder brother having a large
property and a higher position.
Entering the Order in 1265, at the age of 22 years, he had passed through all the
degrees and became Grand Prior (or Preceptor) of England. His devotion and
service resulted in his acquiring an enviable reputation throughout the Templar
world of that strenuous period.
A man of true merit, of undaunted bravery, highly intellectual, of amiable
disposition and pure morals, with a character beyond reproach, meriting and
receiving the favor of his King, he was a welcome guest at the Court of France. In
1297 his treacherous sovereign selected him for the distinguished honor of holding
his (the King's) fourth son, M. Robert, at the baptismal font. All this time Philip the
Fair, while pretending friendship for de Molai and the Order, with avaricious eyes
looked longingly at the rich possessions of the Templars, and was secretly plotting
their destruction. Ignorant of the hatred of the King, the lords of his Court held de
Molai in such high esteem that they aided in his election as Grand Master in 1298.
In 1302 de Molai, as the Head of this powerful Order, made the last effort— a result
of the seven Crusades that had swept Europe for several centuries— to recover
Palestine from the Moslem hordes, but he and his faithful followers suffered defeat
at the hands of the Sultan of Egypt, with a loss of 120 Knights; and this ended their
endeavors to recover the Holy Land. After that the activities of this powerful
Order, as a military organization, ceased.
By many grants from time to time the Templars had become possessed of large
estates and were very rich and prosperous. The cupidity of the clergy, the need of
money by their avaricious King, and the decadence of the Templars as a military
organization, were the principal factors leading to their downfall.
The first Grand Master of this famous Order of Templars was Hugho de Payens,
elected in 1 1 18, followed by Robert de Craon, 1 136; Everard des Barres, 1 146;
Bernard deTremelay, 1151; Bertrand de Blanquefort, 1154; Philip of Naplous,
1167; Odo de St. Amand, 1170; Arnold de Torroge, 1180; Gerard de Ridefort,
1185; Brother Walter, 1189; Robert de Sable, 1 191; Gilbert Horal, 1 195; Philip
Duplesseis, 1201; William de Charters, (date of election unknown) who died in
1218; Peter de Montague, 1218; Herman de Perigord, 1236; William de Sonnac,
1245; Reginald de Vichier, 1152; Thomas Berard, 1256; William de Beaujeu,
1273; Theobald de Gaudini, 1291; and finally in 1297 Jacques Bernard de Molai
(or Molay), Preceptor of England, was elected Grand Master by a general Chapter
of the Order.
It is interesting to note in this connection that King John of England frequently
resided at the Temple London, and it was there that he resigned England Ireland "
to his lord Pope Innocent the Third," and signed that epoch-making document
"Magna Charta." This historic building, which became Crown property upon the
dissolution of the Order in 1313, afterwards came into possession of the Knights of
St. John, who in 1346 leased it to the students of common law, and it has served
continuously since then as a law school and today houses the inns of court-
societies for the study of law and possessing exclusively the privilege of calling to
the bar— four in number, the Inner and Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's
The events that led up to the tragic death of de Molai and the dissipation of Order
and confiscation their estates, was the avarice of Philip IV, called Phillip the Fair,
the sore financial straits in which the French monarchy found itself coupled with
the cupidity of the clergy and the vacillating character of Pope Clement V. Philip
pretended to be anxious for a new crusade, and at his instigation Clement V called
the Grand Masters of the Templars and Knights of John to Europe. De Molai, as a
true soldier of the cross, answered this summons and returned to France in the fall
of 1306, accompanied by a chosen band of distinguished Knights of the Order. He
repaired to Portiers in 1307 to render allegiance to the Pope, and at that time
nothing was said about investigating the affairs of the Order.
Shortly thereafter Philip appeared before Clement and preferred charges
demanding the dissolution of the Order. As this was the beginning of French or
Avignon Papacy, the Pope was largely under the influence of Philip and was
finally induced to order this investigation. Instead of awaiting this papal
investigation, however, the King immediately procured the arrest of every Templar
in France, and on October 13, 1307, de Molai was seized in the house of the
Temple and taken before special commissioners of the Inquisition.
Although the Pope was indignant at this presumption the part of Philip, and
suspended the power of the Inquisition, yet the King's influence was so great that
he finally compelled the Pope to take part in the action. De Molai was thereupon
examined by a Papal commission, and under torture confessed the truth of some of
the charges. On March 11, 13 14, he was condemned to perpetual imprisonment.
He immediately retracted all he had said while under torture, and this so infuriated
the King that the latter ordered him forcibly seized and burnt at the stake the same
evening. This occurred in front of Notre Dame, Paris, and as the flames mounted
up about his body and were fast consuming his flesh, after protesting the innocence
of the Order, he called aloud to the surrounding crowd, " Y ou who behold us
perishing in the flames shall decide our innocence ! I summon Pope Clement V to
appear in forty days and Philip the Fair in twelve months before the just and
terrible throne of the everliving God, to render an account of the blood which they
have unjustly and wickedly shed."
With him perished Guy, the Grand Preceptor; Hugo de Paralt (or Peraldes), the
Visitor General; and Theodore Bazile de Merioncourt. Retribution followed
swiftly; the King Philip IV dying four weeks later embittered by misfortune and
deserted by his nobles. Pope Clement V, after a painful and lingering illness, died
one year and a month after the death of these martyred Templars; and it is recorded
that all those others foremost in persecuting the Templars came to an untimely and
King Philip had plotted to invest one of his sons with the title of King of
Hierasalem, (Jerusalem), and hoped to procure of Pope Clement V the large
revenues of the Order by this dastardly act. What actually occurred was the
confiscation of the possessions of the Templars which were divided among various
Orders, many of the surviving Knights of the Order languished in dungeons, and
the remainder were compelled to leave their homes, discard their Templar garb and
go forth penniless into the world.
Tradition tells us that the surviving Templars became divided into four parties: (1)
Templars in Portugal and Italy, known since as Knights of the "Order of Christ";
(2) those who accepted Peter d'Aumont- as the successor of de Molai; (3) those
who asserted that John Marc Larmenius was his successor; and (4) those who
refused to accept either d'Aumont or Larmenius. Modem Templarism is supposed
to be derived from the fourth class, although there are no historically authentic
documents to prove this contention.
Addison, on the contrary, claims that de Molai appointed as his successor John
Marc Larmenius, of Jerusalem, and that from him a regular unintermpted line of
Grand Masters succeeded, and that the Charter of transmission with the signatures
of the various chiefs of the Temple, together with the ancient statutes of the Order,
the rituals, records, seals, standards, and the early memorials of the Templars, are
preserved at Paris. As Grand Masters were elected, and not appointed, such a
succession to say the least from de Molai could not be regular. This with many
other points in the history of various Orders that flourished and were powerful
factors for good during this troubled period, together with the early history of
Knights Templarism as it exists today, are fruitful fields for Masonic research,
which it is to be hoped some member of the National Masonic Research Society
can take up at an early date and prosecute to a successful issue.
The life and tragic death of Jacques Bernard de Molai should be an inspiration to
every Mason zealously to work for the advancement and uplifting of our beloved
fraternity, and so usefully conduct his own life that he can in the evening of his
own earthly existence lay aside his working tools and fall asleep to awaken in that
"Celestial Temple," and greet this perfect Knight whose enfranchised spirit soared
aloft these six centuries agone.
— o —
A CITY SHRINE
I saw a sparrow on the window rest,
I caught a simple rose in blossom there;
O nerveless echo from the muffled past,
How canst thou with the living voice compare!
Ye costly shrines, in stone and splendor clad,
That stir not, tho' the stately music roll.
For me, the pulsing life, the sun, the sky,
The blessed influence of soul on soul.
Must bird and rose and sunbeam be without,
While gloom and dust and marble fill the shrine ?
Let those who will all humbly bow within,
O larger, broader Father's house, be mine!
—Abram S. Isaacs, New York.
A NOBLE LIFE
A noble life, a simple faith,
An open heart and hand;
These are the common litanies
Which all men understand.
These are the ornaments of grace,
Tho' hidden to the view,
Like square and plumb and level,
To build the world anew.
—Abram S. Isaacs, New York.
— o —
A friend is one who backs you up
When other men assail;
You'll find him near when others cheer,
And near the times you fail.
He does not ask blue skies for you
Nor leave when days are grim
Though good or bad, the luck you've had,
It's all the same to him.
A friend is first to cheer for you
The last one to desert;
For old time's sake your part he'll take
However much he's hurt.
He's by your side through thick and thin
He'll back you to the end;
And great is he whoe'er he be
Who's worthy of his friend !
—Edgar A. Guest.
— o —
Thus come I in the pride of youth to learn
My life work: through my limbs there runs a fire,
Bom of my vigor, shaped by wild desire.
Reft from the quarry of the race, I turn
To shape myself more finely, to discern
Some part of nature's harmony, aspire
To excellencies great, to powers higher,
And then, perchance, my great reward to earn.
The Master gave me tools for work, when light
Had come by which to work; a simple rule
Whereby to labor best by day and night,
An instmment to take away excess;
And, clad as learner, entered 1 the school
Where strength controlled at last will bring success.
— H. W. Ticknor, Florida.
— o —
WHATEVER THE WEATHER
"Whatever the weather may be," says he—
"Whatever the weather may be,
It's the songs ye sing, an' the smiles ye wear,
That's a-makin' the sun shine everywhere;
An' the world of gloom is a world of glee,
Wid the bird in the bush, an' the bud in the tree,
An' the fruit on the stim o' the bough," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he—
"Whatever the weather may be ! "
"Whatever the weather may be," says he—
"Whatever the weather may be,
Ye can bring the Spring, wid its green an' gold,
An' the grass in the grove where the snow lies cold;
An' ye'll warm yer back, wid a smiling face,
As ye sit at yer heart, like an owld fireplace,
An' toast the toes o' yer sowl," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he—
"Whatever the weather may be ! "
—James Whitcomb Riley.
THE WEBB RITUAL IN THE UNITED STATES
BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, WISCONSIN
THE year 1717 will ever stand out as a prominent date in the history of
Freemasonry. Since then we have voluminous written and printed records; before
then we had but about a hundred old manuscript charges, a few mentions of
Freemasonry in biography and laws, and a very few lodge minutes.
Previous to 1717, the rituals, or forms and ceremonies of reception of candidates
and other work of the lodge, were most probably given in the language and manner
the presiding officer chose. It may have been in a "set form of words," which form
was transmitted orally from one generation to another.
Soon after the "revival," or the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1717, Rev.
James Anderson, the author of the "Book of Constitutions" of 1723, and Dr. John
T. Desaguliers, the master mind of the organization, arranged the lectures into the
form of questions and answers for the first time, and this was adopted by the Grand
Lodge as the authentic lectures. (1)
In 1732, Martin Clare revised the lectures and made a few Christian applications
which were not in strict conformity to the cosmopolitan character of the fraternity,
Dr. Thos. Manningham and Thos. Dunkery were the next to "improve the work"
and Dr. Manningham's prayer is still used, with slight modifications in opening a
lodge and at the reception of candidates. Thos. Dunkerly is said to have given the
theological ladder its three principal rounds. In 1763, Wm. Hutchinson again
revised and "improved" the lectures and gave more Christian applications to their
rites and ceremonies. (2)
The greatest of all ritualists, however, was William Preston who was made a
Mason in a lodge of "Antients," in 1763, and soon after induced that lodge to be
reconstituted by the "Modems." In 1767 he became master of his lodge. He
believed that Freemasonry should not only be a progressive moral science, but that
it should have an educational value in giving its votaries more knowledge of the
liberal arts and sciences. His "Illustrations of Masonry" was the result, and no book
having more influence has ever been written on Masonry. He was the father of the
monitor. By 1774 he had completed his system of "work" and established a school
of instruction, and from that time to the present the Preston "work" has been, and
undoubtedly far into the future it will continue to be, one of the most potent
influences of the ritual. Preston's "work" continued to be the standard work for the
Grand Lodge of England until 1813, when the "United Grand Lodge" adopted the
Hemming lectures. The Hemming lectures differ in many particulars from the
Preston. The Preston lectures are still given once a year in England under the
auspices of a foundation made for that purpose.
When Freemasonry was first established in America is an open question. We are
not quite sure that the stone with the date 1 606 is really a Masonic stone of that
date, or that Mordecai Campanell and his companions conferred the degrees of
Masonry in 1656 at Newport, R. I. (3) Neither are we certain as to where
Freemasonry was first practiced in this country by authority of the Grand Lodge of
England after 1717. It is, however, well known that lodges were established in the
colonies and that Daniel Coxe, Henry Price and James Graeme were issued
deputations as Provincial Grand Masters.
The ritual of the English lodges would naturally have been the one used in the
English colonies, and in this connection it is well to call attention to the fact that
the "Grand Lodge of England according to the old Institutions," or "Ancients," was
established in 1751, and from that time until 1813 chartered lodges in all the
colonies. In many of the colonies there were two conflicting Provincial Grand
In the establishment of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge changes were made which were
of considerable importance. (4) Uniformity was not accomplished in England until
1813, and it has not yet been attained, and probably never will be attained, in
America. Pennsylvania still retains the "Ancient work."
After the Colonies had declared their independence of Great Britain, the Provincial
Grand Lodges naturally declared their independence of the Grand Lodges to which
they owed their origin. Each was then a sovereign Grand Lodge.
To return to the lectures; they took the form of the place whence they came, and
were quite probably not transmitted with a great degree of accuracy, and were not
very uniform in the United States at the close of the Eighteenth century.
Thos. Smith Webb was bom in Boston, Mass., October 13, 1771, and became a
printer or book binder. Early in life he became a Mason and a teacher of Masonry.
In 1797 he published the "Freemason's Monitor." He subsequently did more for
Masonry than almost any one else in his day, and was probably personally
instrumental in founding the "American Rite," or system of degrees of Royal Arch,
Council and Commandery. What we are particularly interested in, however, is his
connection with ancient craft Masonry.
About the close of the eighteenth century a printer named Hanmer came to
America and brought the Preston work. He communicated it to Webb. Soon
afterward Webb abridged it, arranged it differently, as to sections, and taught this
revision to Benjamin Gleason, Henry Fowle, Bro. Snow, and others. In 1806 a
joint committee of six, of which Bros. Gleason and Fowle were members, met and
agreed upon the Webb work as the standard work of Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. Bro. Jeremy Cross claimed to have received his work from this
committee. (5) In an address before the Grand Lodge of Vermont in 1859 G. M.
Philip Tucker gave much valuable information from which we excerpt the
"About the year 1800— twelve years after the publication of Preston's Illustrations
an English brother, whose name I have been unable to obtain, came to Boston and
taught the English Lectures as they had been arranged by Preston. The Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts approved them and they were taught by Thomas S. Webb
and Henry Fowle, of Boston, and Brother Snow, of Rhode Island. About the year
1801, Brother Benjamin Gleason, who was a student of Bro. Webb, received them
from him, and embodied them in a private key of his own. About the year 1805,
Bro. Gleason was employed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to teach all the
Subordinate Lodges of that jurisdiction, and was paid for that service, fifteen
hundred dollars. To those lectures the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts still adheres,
with a very slight variation in the Fellow Craft and Master's Degree. Bro. Snow
afterwards changed and modified the Lectures he had received— mingling with
them some changes from other sources— so that the system of lectures descending
through him, is not reliable.
"Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
in 1805, and that Grand Lodge appointed no other Grand Lecturer until 1842. He
was a liberally educated man; graduated at Brown University in 1 802, and was a
public lecturer on geography and astronomy. He was a member of Mount Lebanon
Lodge, in Massachusetts, in 1807, and died in Concord in that State, in 1847, at the
age of 70. He visited England and exemplified the Preston Lectures as he had
received them from Bro. Webb, before the Grand Lodge of England, and the
Masonic authorities of that Grand Body pronounced them correct. In the year
1817, Bro. John Barney, formerly of Charlotte, Vermont, went to Boston and
received the Preston Lectures there as taught by Gleason, and as they were
approved by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
"I am unable to say whether he received them from Bro. Gleason himself, or from
Bro. Henry Fowle. My impression is that he received them from Bro. Fowle. In
possession of these Lectures he returned to Vermont, and at the Annual
Communication of our Grand Lodge in October, 1817, visited that Grand Body
and made known the fact. The subject was submitted to a committee for
examination, which reported that these Lectures were according to the most
approved method of Work in the United States, and proposed to give Bro. Barney
letters of recommendation to all Lodges and brethren, wherever he may wish to
travel, as a brother well qualified to give useful Masonic information to any one
who may wish his services.
"The Grand Lodge accepted and adopted the report of its committee, and Bro.
Barney, under the recommendation thus given, visited many of the then existing
Lodges of this State, and imparted to them a knowledge of these Lectures. Among
others, in the year 1818, he visited Dorchester Lodge, in Vergennes, and imparted
full instructions in them to Right Worshipful Samuel Wilson, now and for several
years past, Grand Lecturer of this State. Upon this occasion Bro. Barney wrote out
a portion of them in private key, and Bro. Wilson wrote out the remainder. Both
were written in the same book, and that part written by Bro. Wilson was examined
carefully and approved by Bro. Barney. That original manuscript is still in
existence, and is now in possession of my son, Bro. Philip C. Tucker, Jr., of
Galveston, Texas, to whom Bro. Wilson presented it a few years ago. Bro. Wilson
has a perfect copy of it, and refers to it as authority in all cases of doubt. Bro.
Gallup, of Liberty Lodge, at Franklin, was one of the original Grand Lodge
committee, and is still living to attest the correctness and identity of these Lectures
as taught by Barney, in 1817.
"These are the only Lectures which have been sanctioned in this jurisdiction, from
October, 1817, to the present day. The Grand Lodge has sanctioned no others. My
predecessors, Grand Masters Robinson, Whitney, Whales and Haswell, sustained
them against all innovations, and to the extent of my power I have done the same. I
think upon these facts I am justified in saying that the Lectures we use are the true
Lectures of Preston.
"Webb changed the arrangement of the sections as fixed by Preston, for one which
he thought more simple and convenient, but, as I understand, he left the body of
the Lectures themselves as Preston had established them. Subsequently to 1818,
Bro. Barney went to the western and southwestern States; he was a man in feeble
health at the time, and pursued Masonic lecturing as a means of subsistence. Upon
his return to this State, a few years afterwards, he stated to his brethren here— as I
have been credibly informed and believe— that he found different systems of
lecturing prevailing at the west and south-west, and that, upon presenting the
Lectures he had been taught at Boston in 1817, to different Grand Masters, they
were objected to, and that various Grand Masters would not sanction his lecturing
in their jurisdictions, unless he would teach the Lectures then existing among them,
that desiring to pursue his occultation, he did learn the different systems of
lecturing then existing in the different States, and taught them in the different State
jurisdictions, as desired by the different Grand Masters in each. This circumstance
accounts for the strange disagreement between the east and west and south-west as
to what are the true Barney Lectures. They meant one thing in New England and
another in the west."
Again, in 1861, he says: "Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of
Massachusetts in 1 805 and no other Grand Lecturer was appointed by that Grand
Lodge until 1842. During all this time Bro. Fowle was a member, sometimes a
subordinate officer, and occasionally Master of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, one
of the oldest and best informed Lodges in the world. For most of this time, also,
Bro. Gleason was at home in Massachusetts, and holding his office of Grand
Lecturer of his State. Is it not a very violent presumption to assume that he did not
know what Lectures and what kind of Work were taught in one of the strongest
Lodges of Boston.
"I knew Bro. Henry Fowle from my boyhood. My father was one of his intimate
friends, and they were members and officers of the same Charter. Bro. Fowle was a
man of far more mind and attainments than are usually found among men of his
sphere of life. His was not a mind to forget anything, and was too tenacious a
Mason to make changes without authority. But setting all inferences from such
considerations aside, I remark, that I was present at St. Andrew's Lodge in 1 823 or
1824. AND SAW THE WORK DONE, BRO. FOWLE TAKING PART IN IT
THAT EVENING AS A SUBORDINATE OFFICER, AND THE WORK WAS
IDENTICALLY THAT WHICH HAS BEEN PRACTICED IN THIS
JURISDICTION FROM 1818 TO THIS DAY. AS EXEMPLIFIED IN THE
LECTURES COMMUNICATED TO WILSON BY BARNEY. I add also, that I
was subjected, upon another occasion, to a thorough examination, in an ante-room
of the same Masonic hall, upon a visit to St. Andrew's Chapter, by a strong
examining committee, which, finding that I answered readily, ran through the
Lectures ENTIRE from entered apprentice to Royal Arch, and that the whole of
them were IDENTICAL with those in use in the Lodges and Chapters of Vermont.
There can be no doubt, then, that the Lectures communicated by Fowle to Barney
were the genuine Lectures taught by Webb and Gleason, the same which Gleason
received from Webb in 1801 or 1802; the same which he taught as Grand Lecturer
of Massachusetts, from 1805; the same that I found among the Boston Masons, in
1 823 or 1 824 and the very same which are taught there now.
"Was there any opportunity for them to be falsified in their translation from Barney
to Wilson? Barney received them in 1817 and made private notes of them; in
October of that year, he submitted them to the Grand Lodge of Vermont, and got
its permission to teach them in this jurisdiction: he was well known here, was a
man of integrity and had every motive of interest and honor to preserve them in
their purity. In 1 8 1 8— and before he had gone from the State to teach elsewhere at
all— he imparted them to Bro. Wilson, having his original notes before him, and
aiding that Brother in making a correct copy of themand when they came into use
practically, they were found to exactly agree with those used in the jurisdiction
from which Bro. Barney received them. There seems no room for error or mistake
here. The link in the chain of transmission is not broken at all."
The work of Webb was evidently well done, and in his life time there existed a
fairly uniform method where he or his disciples taught. He died in 1819. Jeremy L.
Cross published his "True Masonic chart" in 1819. It was the Webb monitor with
the addition of a series of illustrations of the emblems. This feature has been
copied in most monitors since.
The "Morgan excitement" in 1826 put Masonic activity to a disadvantage, and
there was little done from 1826 to 1839 or thereabouts. Then there was a revival of
interest and an agitation for uniform work resulting in the Baltimore Convention of
1843, at which the delegates adopted the "Webb work."
John Barney, of whom Philip Tucker speaks, was made a Mason in Friendship
Lodge No. 20, at Charlotte, Vt., in 1811. After teaching the Webb work in
Vermont he went west. He was Grand Lecturer in Ohio from 1836 to 1843, and
Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1846 and 1847. He died at Peoria,
111., June 22, 1847. He was the most influential ritualist of Vermont, Ohio and
Illinois. Michigan and Wisconsin, and the states which have since become
independent Masonically, derived their work from these, and follow the Barney
work to the best of their knowledge.
John Barney was the delegate from Ohio to the Baltimore Convention of 1843.
Charles W. Moore of Massachusetts, was also a delegate. In a letter written in 1863
"The work and lectures of the first three degrees, as adopted and authorized by the
Baltimore Convention, in 1843, were, with a few unimportant verbal exceptions,
literally as they were originally compiled by Bro. Thos. S. Webb, about the close
of the last century, and as they were subsequently taught by him during his
lifetime, and also by his early and favorite pupil, Bro. Benjamin Gleason, from the
years 1801-2 until his death in 1847. In a note to me, under date of NOV. 25, 1843,
Bro. Gleason says: 'It was my privilege while at Brown University, Providence,
R.I., (1801-2) to acquire a complete knowledge of the lectures in the first three
degrees of Masonry, directly from our late much lamented brother Thos. S. Webb.'
In 1805 Bro. Gleason was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as
its Grand Lecturer and empowered to visit and instruct the Lodges in the ritual, as
he had received it from Bro. Webb. This duty he performed with great fidelity, and
to the entire satisfaction of the Grand Lodge; and this ritual is in use in the lodges
of Massachusetts at the present time. There may be some verbal departures from
the original, but no material change has been made in it. In 1823-4 Bro. Gleason
was my Masonic teacher. I learned the work and lectures of him. We were
connected by family ties, and close Masonic relations continued to exist between
us until his death in 1847. 1 was associated with him in all the various branches of
Masonry for nearly a quarter of a century, and enjoyed all the rare advantages of
his extensive and accurate knowledge of the various rituals of the different grades
of the Order. In 1 843 I was appointed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts a
delegate to the Baltimore Masonic Convention, called for the purpose of revising
the various modes of work then in use, and agreeing upon a uniform system for the
country. Before leaving home, and as a preparation for the better discharge of the
duties of the appointment, I availed myself of the assistance of Bro. Gleason, in a
thorough and careful revision of the lectures, which I had originally received from
him and which, on frequent occasions, I had been called to deliver and work with
him, both in-and out of the Lodge. I was, therefore, qualified to report them to the
convention, through its committee on the work, in their purity and integrity, and,
beyond all doubt, just as they originally came from the hand of the late Bro. Webb.
I had the honor to be a member of the committee, and to report the amendments,
and the lectures as amended, to the convention. This 1 did without notes, but
subsequently took the precaution-to minute down the alterations from the original;
and these are now in my possession. They are mostly verbal, few in number, and
not material in their results. The only change of consequence was in the due guards
of the second and third degrees, which were changed and made to conform to that
of the first degree in position and explanation. This was analogically correct."
At this Baltimore Convention sixteen of the twenty-three then existing Grand
Lodges of the United States were represented, and the "work" adopted was called
the "National" or "Barney" work. No opposition of consequence to this work
occurred until 1860, when Robert Morris tried to have a "Webb-Preston work as
taught by Robert Morris" adopted through the medium of a Conservator's
Association. This Conservator's Association gained much influence and many
brethren lent it their support. The plan was to have a conservator in each lodge who
was to use his best efforts to promulgate the "Webb-Preston work as taught by
Robert Morris." Each conservator was provided with a copy of "Mnemonics,"
which Robert Morris claimed was the true work.
The Grand Lodges, however, became alarmed and promptly condemned the
Conservators; in the early 60's most of them passed resolutions reaffirming the
work as handed down through Gleason, Barney, Wilson, Wadsworth, Cross and
others, and as approved and recommended by the Baltimore Convention. Robert
Morris claimed to have received the work from Bro. Wilson of Vermont; but Bro
"In 1857 Robert Morris visited Vermont for the purpose of ascertaining what were
the true Webb lectures. P. C. Tucker introduced Morris to me for the purpose, and I
loaned him a copy (not my original) of my cipher, and which unfortunately had
several omissions through mistake. In copying this, Morris made several mistakes
and misread many passages. In fact he could never read it at all until I met him in
Chicago in 1860, and I think he cannot read it all now. This copy, with its blunders
and omissions, is the text from which the book you refer to (Mnemonics) was
If we are correct in judging the condition which prevailed from 1843, when the
Baltimore Convention was held, until the time of the Conservator's Association,
we would conclude that there was a difference in the work in the different
Jurisdictions which made a Conservator movement possible. (6)
Robert Morris may have been sincerely desirous of promoting a uniform work and
believed he could accomplish it; He probably could if he had possessed either the
Preston work or the Webb work, but he had neither. His was a Morris work, and
there had been too many changes to suit the Brethren, and from then until now the
work adopted and maintained in the East and Northwest (7) has been as near the
Webb work as our ritualists could ascertain, with the exception of Pennsylvania
which still adheres to the "Ancient" work.
(1) See Mackey's Enc., Article Lectures, for simple questions and answers.
(2) See Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry."
(3) History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan, page 250.
(4) A considerable difference of opinion exists as to what was done. See "Hughan's
English Royal Arch." "Sadler's Reprints and Revelations."
(5) We think this a rather improbable claim, as Bro. Cross was not made a Mason
(6) "Two text books, differing materially were issued, each claiming to be the work
adopted. ( By the Baltimore convention). I have heard a dozen variations of the
lectures, each declared to be such as were agreed upon at Baltimore." A. T. C.
Pierson, G. M., Minn., 1858.
(7) I am uninformed as to the South and Southwest.
— o —
Our country ! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the
right; but our country right or wrong!
— o —
THERE DAWNS A DAY
I know there shall dawn a day
—Is it here on homely earth ?
Is it yonder, worlds away,
Where the strange and new have birth,
That Power comes full in play?
Then life is— to wake not sleep,
Rise and not rest, but press
From earth's level where blindly creep
Things perfected, more or less,
To the heaven's height, far and steep.
Where, amid what strifes and storms
May wait the adventurous quest,
Power is Love— transports, transforms
Who aspired from worst to best,
Sought the soul's world, spurned the worms'.
I have faith such end shall be:
From the first, Power was— I knew.
Life has made clear to me
That, strive but for closer view,
Love were as plain to see.
When see? When there dawns a day,
If not on the homely earth,
Then yonder, worlds away,
Where the strange and new have birth,
And power comes full in play.
— o —
VICTOR HUGO'S PROPHECY
(In His Presidential Address at the Peace Congress in 1849.) A day will come
when you, France— you, Russia— you, Italy— you, England-you, Germany— all of
you nations of the continent— shall, without losing your distinctive qualities and
your glorious individuality, blend in a higher unity and form a European fraternity,
even as Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Lorraine, Alsace, all the French provinces,
have become blended.
A day will come when war shall seem as absurd and impossible between Paris and
London, between St. Petersburg and Berlin, as between Rouen and Amiens,
between Boston and Philadelphia. A day will come when bullets and bombs shall
be replaced by ballots by the universal suffrage of the people, by the sacred
arbitrament of a great sovereign senate, which shall be to Europe what the
parliament is to England, what the diet is to Germany, what the legislative
assembly is to France.
A day will come when a cannon ball shall be exhibited in our museums as an
instrument of torture is now, and men shall marvel that such things could be. A day
will come when shall be seen those two immense groups, the United States of
America and the United States of Europe, in face of each other, extending hand to
hand over the ocean, exchanging their products, their commerce, their industry,
their arts, their genius —clearing the earth, colonizing deserts, and ameliorating
creation, under the eye of the Creator.
— o —
WHERE IS GOD?
"Oh, where is the sea?" the fishes cried
As they swam the crystal clearness through;
"We've heard from of old of the ocean's tide
And we long to look on the waters blue.
The wise ones speak of an infinite sea;
Oh, who can tell us if such there be ?"
The lark flew up in the morning bright
And sang and balanced on sunny wings,
And this was its song: "I see the light;
I look on a world of beautiful things;
And flying and singing everywhere
In vain have I sought to find the air."
— M. J. Savage.
— o —
War begets Poverty,
Peace begets Riches,
Fate will not cease—
Riches beget Pride,
Pride is war's ground—
War begets Poverty,
So the world goes round.
GLIMPSES OF A PRE REVOLUTIONARY MASONIC LODGE
BY BRO. J. EDWARD ALLEN, NORTH CAROLINA
The diary of old Samuel Sewall of Massachusetts has been called "a window in old
Boston," and in the same way the early Masonic records may be called "colonial
views." It is from this point of view that the writer has been greatly interested in
the early records of Blandford-Bute lodge of Masons, of Bute County, North
Carolina. The early North Carolinians were an interesting people. That polished
gentlemen, William Byrd, of Westover, Virginia, after appointing a line of division
between these and his people, speaks of them, in his "History of the Dividing
Line," as "mere Adamites," forgetting that a large part of the Carolinians were
We are interested to know that many of these men were Masons, and in particular,
a number of those who came to Bute County. Therefore we find that on the twenty-
ninth of April, 1766, these Bute County Masons had already organized a Lodge,
and were on that date actually initiating candidates, "at Buffaloe," and were
resolving to call their lodge "Blandford-Bute," probably in honor of the old
Blandford Lodge, near Petersburg, Va., chartered in 1756, and in honor of their
new home-county. They came down the trail which afterward became the
Petersburg-Raleigh - Charleston stage road, passing through Warrenton, and by
Buffalo. Aaron Burr later took this route on one of his journeys, spending a night
We do not know what the status of these Masons was in April, 1766. They seem
not to have been completely organized, for at the next meeting resolutions were
passed as follows:
"Resolved, that the Quarterly Meetings shall be held regularly at Bute court on the
first day thereof—
Resolved, that every member shall duly attend the lodges in course or give a
sufficient reason for his absence or pay the sum of two shillings sixpence for each
Secondly, shall prophanely Swear in the Lodge under no less penalty than two
shillings and six pence for the first offense and five shillings for each after.
Thirdly, that there shall no member Indecently behave such as whispering or
Laughing in the lodge under the above penalty.
Fourthly, that no member shall disclose the proceedings of the lodge to any but
Masons, and not to them without they intend to become members or should give
such reasons as they should think they would.
Fifthly, that no member shall speake in the lodge without rising and addressing
himself to the Master.
Sixthly, that Every Member shall pay for his quarterly Payment Six Shillings and
Eight Pence Proct. money to the treasurer that shall be appointed by the lodge.
Seventhly, that no member shall reflect, or laugh, at any Rules proposed by any
member without, in the lodge, and there to make their objections in a manner
becoming any Mason.
Resolved, that no person be initiated in this lodge except he pay the money down
for his initiation, or give one of the members of the lodge for his security, to-wit 4-
4sh. Virga. currency—
Resolved, that Jethro Sumner Treasurer of this Lodge, bring his account of the
expenses of the same—
Resolved, that the treasurer Prepare a Striped Shirt and a Pair of Trousers for the
use of the Lodge."
This curious commingling of trivial incidentals and important matters was
evidently regarded as the fundamental law for the government of the lodge, for it is
signed by the thirteen members, and is then concluded with the statement "Then
the lodge adjourned till the Lodge in course."
Just a word personal here about these men will not be out of order. We must
understand that the English language was not then nearly so firmly fixed in its
forms and usages as now; and that therefore what appears to us to be bad grammar
would not have then been scorned. We must remember also that these men all lived
hard outdoor lives, many of them traveling long distances to find a lodge or a
church, and that therefore schools were almost inaccessible to the most of these
settlers and education was within reach only of a privileged few who could employ
private tutors. And did not that notorious governor of the neighbor state, Sir
William Berkeley, write concerning the condition of his people: "I thank God there
are no free schools, nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years;
for learning has brought disobedience and heresy, and sects into the world, and
printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us
from both." But in spite of unfavorable conditions many of the members of this old
lodge were men whose names appear on the pages of history as those of heroes of
a great faith or magnificent champions of liberty. Jethro Sumner, an officer of the
lodge, was one of the great generals of the Revolution. It is said that his name was
seriously considered when a Commander-in-chief of the American armies was to
be chosen. Green Hill, another of the members of the lodge at this time, was the
man in whose house was held the first conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church in America. One part of this one county furnished at one time, later, both
U. S. senators, the congressman, the Governor, and a judge of the State court of
appeals. Here was born and raised Nathaniel Macon, the greatest North Carolinian,
long Speaker of the National House of Representatives. And, by contrast, hence
came Beau Hickman, the greatest deadbeat, immortalized by G. A. Townsend as
the villain in "Crutch, the Page."
The business of these old lodges was almost always conducted in the first degree.
Hence the charge for initiation was four pounds four shillings Virginia currency,
equivalent to about fourteen dollars. This is excessively high, when we think of the
fact that the average fee for the three degrees in North Carolina today is less than
twenty dollars. But when he was initiated, the Mason signed the by-laws and
became an active member. Relatively a small part of the Masons took all the three
degrees, and the Master Mason's lodge was not opened "on Buffaloe" oftener than
three or four times each year. The Royal Arch work seems to have been done by
the same organization, for we read about twice in each year's record that "at a
lodge of Arch and Royal Arch Masons," somebody was advanced to the "exalted
Arch degree," or to the "superexalted Royal Arch degree."
At times the lodge met when court was in session, and at night, actually in the
court house. Bute court house was ten or twelve miles from the nearest town, and
when it was afterward removed to Warrenton, the old records were lost. They were
found more than seventy-five years later, by a non-Mason, an excellent gentleman,
who is said to have sat up all night reading them, and it is charged that on the
following morning his first question was, "What did those old fellows do with that
pair of drawers that the Lodge bought?" No one was able to advise him.
Quite plainly there has been a change of sentiment toward many things somewhere
in the decades. We read that often this lodge "repaired to brother So-andso's tavern,
where a sumptuous repast was enjoyed." This was usually paid for by the candidate
of the day, but sometimes there is an entry in the minutes of the next meeting to the
effect that "the secretary read a bill for two gallons of rum, which on motion was
ordered paid." It is possible that this may have been intended for use as medicine,
but we may safely conjecture that such was not the case. It is a matter of common
knowledge that many of the religious gatherings of the day in this and other
sections were composed to a strikingly large extent of men who each and all were
unwilling to leave home without their "ticklers," "demijohns," or even "runlets" of
the liquor that cheers and then does some more. The truth is, the history of
Masonry is the history of the morals of its devotees, and as surely as we can read
the signs of the times, just so surely can we see that the morals of the country are
being elevated. Lodges frown on drunkards today and deal stringently with them.
Do not think, however, that twentieth-century lodges have a monopoly of the duty
of dealing with violators of the Masonic law. Our eighteenth-century brethren, too,
had troubles in that line. At a meeting of Blandford Bute lodge held on November
20, 1767, the members seem to have been uproariously hilarious. Christmas was
coming, and they may have been either glad with its spirit or spirits, or mad with
its prospects of paying the bills, for at this season "everybody works father."
Whatever may have been the trouble, we find that in this meeting Brother Duncan
misbehaved three times and was fined two shillings sixpence each time. It was a
fellowcraffs lodge, and the brother who had just been passed was next fined 2s. 6d.
for "a breach of behaviour." He must have had something more than nerve! Brother
William Tabb next was discovered laughing and received the same dose. Tabb was
next soaked 2s. 6d. for going out, and lastly Arch Campbell received the uniform
penalty for misbehaving. At this point it seems that the lawbreakers must have
outnumbered the more sedate brethren, for we read that at the end of the meeting
all the fines were remitted, as well as the fines of the members who had been
absent without excuse at the last meeting. What a deal of relief there would be to
the Master of many a lodge today if he could by fines force his members to attend
the meetings! It was in the previous August that one brother was fined for
swearing, another for getting drunk, and two for no less grave an offense against
the dignity of the lodge than singing. This reminds us of the case of the lady who
sang so atrociously in the Methodist church of the nearby town of Warrenton about
a hundred years ago, that she was excluded from fellowship. The case was carried
to the State court of appeals, which restored her to her former rights and privileges.
In these old records we find only one allusion to Joseph Montfort, of Halifax,
"Grand Master of and for America," as he was designated in his commission from
the Duke of Beaufort. On August third, 1767, Jos. Montfort is recorded as one of
the visitors. There is no record of any recognition of his standing, except in the fact
that at this meeting there was a larger attendance than at any other which
Blandford-Bute ever held. His commission was not issued until 1771.
Trouble between the adherents and supporters of the mistaken policy of the
reigning house in the mother country, and those who stood uncompromisingly for
their liberty, early became acute in North Carolina. In several sections of the state
there were many Scotch Highlanders and others who were loyal to England to the
last stand. Governor Try on defeated the ill-trained Regulators in the battle of
Alamance about 1771, and only made these seekers for freedom more determined.
The call of military duty suspended temporary interest in everything else, probably
including Masonic lodge work. If Blandford-Bute was active from 1768 to 1782, it
left no records.
It is probable that many of the Masonic lodges became hotbeds of Revolutionary
spirit. Almost every one of the leaders of the Revolution in North Carolina was an
active Mason, and there is good reason to believe that many of the Masonic lodges
were closely in touch with the machinery used at this time to ascertain the spirit
and temper of the various sections and communities concerning the war. This was
probably the case with Blandford-Bute, for it was a household saying around here
that there were "no Tories in Bute." It is probable that there was a close relation
between the lodges and the Committees of Safety, or the Committees of
Correspondence. If the lodges were concerned thus, they met informally and left
no records. One might wonder whether such activities could have suggested the
general plan of the Ku Klux Klan to the sorely troubled Southern men of
Reconstruction days. Do the words which the writer has italicized in the quotations
below possibly suggest some sort of unrecorded, irregular activity?
The secretary of post-bellum days, in transcribing the records, possibly for Grand
lodge inspection when the North Carolina Charter was given, says of what he gives
up to 1768:
"The foregoing are all the proceedings that can be had from the lodge while it was
held at Buffaloe which is transcribed from part of the original by J. Macon,
Fortunately, we have both the original up to 1768 and the copy. The reorganization
meeting is discussed in the records as follows:
"AT A LODGE OF ROYAL ARCH AND MASTER MASONS Opened and held
in due form the 6th of April, 5782, at High Twelve.
Resolved, that a due record be kept from and after the date of this lodge together
with the reasons it has not been kept up according to the Constitutions and Rules of
TO THIS AND ALL SUCCEEDING LODGES
Be it known unto you
That from the unavoidable necessity of entering into a Cruel and Unnatural War,
with the parent State, the Numerous Calls, Tryalls, Embarrassments of our fellow
Citizens and Brethren Be it not Dismay'd, therefore, that the Harmony of this as
well as many other Lodges have been greatly disturbed thereby, and only to be
restored but by Unanimity and an unshaken hand of Fidelity which we owe to each
other. So that under these deplorable circumstances we consider it a sufficient
Vindication for our neglect in meeting. Particularly when we may Justly Add the
many Battles, Skirmishes, Massacres, Robberies, Murders, Conflagrations and
many other Hostile and inhuman acts which this present unnatural war hath
produced. Consequences so destructive to Mankind in general and Obnoxious to
us, and the Harmony of Masonry in particularly. But, arriving at a period which
gives some respite, distinguishing us from the rest of mankind, then who is the
Mason that will not meet and wheres the hand that denies his brother?
RESOLVED that a summons be issued to all the late members of our lodge to
repair to our room at this place the first Saturday in May next by ten o'clock.
And the remnant of the once flourishing lodge accordingly came, true to that
Masonry which had made its place in their lives in times of peace, and which had
helped make life worth living in time of war. Only six battle-scarred veterans were
left. But, strange to say, we find among them a number of members whose names
we have never seen before. They must have been doing some work during the war
sub rosa, without keeping any records of meetings. Their sources of income, their
relatives, their homes, their health, all sacrificed for freedom, once more these old
men in tears rekindled the fires on the altars of their homes and placed the Rule
and Guide to Faith on the altar of their Lodge. It is interesting to note that the
Masonic soldier thought of Masonry as having a definite place in the protection of
his home. The wife left behind was sometimes placed in possession of some kind
of secret by imparting which she might, and sometimes did, invoke the aid of
Masons. The writer does not know what this was, but many of us have heard
stories of the preservation of a home by means of this kind. It was afterwards done
again in 1861-65.
All the old Masons "on Buffaloe" were dead, and the remnants voted to move the
lodge to Warrenton. At the first meeting there the Secretary read an address one
sentence of which was as follows:
"Whereas our ancient lodge room has lately been brought to ruin by the soldiary,
and therefore rendered unfit for our purposes in meeting, So that under these
circumstances we are exposed to much difficulty in our new designs, . . I
recommend that a plot of ground be purchased in Warrenton. . ."
The plot of ground thus purchased adjoined the lot of Emmanuel Episcopal church,
within whose walls Horace Greeley was married. It is interesting to note in passing
that near the scene of the lodge's early labors was kept later one of the most famous
pleasure resorts in the country, Jones' or Shocco Springs, which had its thousands
of guests each season, and near which, almost within calling distance of the old
lodge, were laid away the remains of Anne Carter Lee, beloved daughter of the
great Hero of the Lost Cause, "there to await the Resurrection Mom."
Peaceful and uneventful was the later history of the old lodge, for after the storm of
war always peace is most beautiful. In quiet did the old fellows meet and confer
the degrees or dispense sweet charity, occasionally having a little celebration all
their own. In the minutes of June twelfth, 1784, we notice that the secretary
presented a bill for supplies, and it was "ordered, that the treasurer pay Wm.
Campbell 29s. 4d (about five dollars) for a loaf of sugar." For what could this have
been bought, unless because there was here and there one of their members who
"took sugar in his'n" when the drinks were passed?
Rarely did they in this period digress from the even tenor of their way, but once or
twice we find them coming in contact with affairs outside before the Grand Lodge
of North Carolina was formed. Once we find that Jethro Sumner moved, "that
inquiry should be made respecting the appointment of a Grand Master for the
United States." Sumner and Jos. Montfort had been close friends, and by this
motion we understand that Sumner acknowledged the genuineness of the old
Montfort commission and was looking to having his place filled after his death.
Nothing came of this, as of similar moves in present times.
And this resolution, poorly written and almost unintelligible though it is, at length
explains to us darkly the source from which Blandford-Bute lodge had for these
many years derived its authority to work:
"Resolved, that if the State of Virginia has made choice of a Grand Master, that the
proceedings of Blandford lodge of 23 Dec., 5766, for a copy of the Deputation
given this lodge in order that a charter be had from that date."
It would appear from that crude and badly written resolution, that Blandford lodge,
near Petersburg, Va., on December 23, 1766, gave these men some sort of
dispensation under which to work. It is probable that this was asked for before
April of that year.
Here let us leave the old lodge. Its hundred and thirty odd years of further history
have not been without interest, but, the pioneer days past, by degrees it approaches
our modern system.
The writer hopes in concluding, that he and the reader may imitate the example of
these good brethren, of whom their faithful secretary records that they "PARTED
LOVINGLY ON THE SQUARE."
DISCUSSING THE PREVIOUS QUESTION
BY BRO. R.I. CLEGG, OHIO
That is an oblong square? These things make me wonder." "And no wonder, for as
the old farmer said when he saw a giraff for the first time, 'There ain't no such
animals.' Such errors no doubt crept in by virtue of the law of exaggeration for the
sake of emphasis, and may easily be corrected."
This is the sort of question and answer the text of ritual and monitor must
withstand. These comments are typical. How far are they justified?
At the outset I confess to a very cordial attitude toward both the inquiry and the
response. Much may be said by way of excuse for them. In fact the position of
inquiry and of wonderment is an excellent foundation for research. Granted a
respectful persistence in regard to the subject and starting from such a point of
departure, the inquirer can unearth material of great importance.
But that happy outlook is not always the result. Well do I recall a very industrious
effort made by an esteemed co-worker of mine to obtain the approval of one Grand
Lodge Committee for certain drastic changes in our ceremonies. It took long
argument before it was at all possible to make him see any reason for sundry
expressions. His was essentially the modern iconoclastic view, mine that of
retaining whatever could be justified by ancient or present day usage.
My plea was and is for the retention of everything Masonic, unless it could be
shown that in the olden days it was as incongruous as it may seem to be in the light
of today. Now as it is obvious that this position calls for ample and exceedingly
difficult investigation, there would be few changes if the attitude were universally
adopted. To say the least, it is emphatically the one prescribed by the charge to
every Master Mason.
Let it not be understood that in all respects I am a "Standpatter." Whenever a
change is universally approved is ample time for its adoption, and when
conservatives like myself cannot show some excellent reason for stemming the tide
of innovation, perhaps we ought not to protest overmuch at the laying of hands
upon the structure of ceremonial formulas. We would nevertheless hope that even
in such cases the alterations be made in none but a reverent manner, rather as a
repair for some agewom weakness than as a movement of drastic renovation. If
alteration be done at all let it be done tenderly and with affection.
But returning to our topic, what do we find ? How far is this particular expression a
mere exaggeration? To the offhand glance there is probably a contradiction in the
terms. A four-sided figure having its sides equal in length and all its angles of
ninety degrees is commonly called a square, and such a figure cannot be oblong.
Manifestly we must seek in some other direction for an explanation of the phrase
Mathematically the word "oblong" can be applied to intersecting axes of unequal
length. For the same reason it may properly be also descriptive of the working tool
known as a square when the latter has arms of unequal length. Is there any other
brief phrase that could so well be employed for the purpose? And to what else
could the term be so pertinently applied as to the unequally armed tool familiar to
every workman in all lines of industry? Mention the word to any workman and his
mind at once visualizes the same thing in every case, and that not an enclosed
While it is true that the square with us is usually with arms of equal length, and as
far back as the painting of "Night" by Hogarth, Grand Steward in the early part of
the eighteenth century, the Master's square was so represented, yet there are as in
the familiar "gallow's" square and in the square adopted by the Continental
brethren an oblong form to be found. This is very probably selected from the
A plain square having its arms measured off as integral quantities and in units well
known to a special class of workmen would have an extraordinary significance.
Some studious brethren, Lawrence for example, have attacked the custom of
placing graduations of length upon the arms of the square. To my mind this
suggests the foundation of the forty-seventh proposition. Given the graduations on
the square blades and then with the help of another rule across the hypotenuse you
have the measurements of a right-angled triangle, and on multiplying these by any
one number you possess the direct dimensions of a large figure; the larger the
dimensions of course the less likelihood of inaccuracy creeping into the
fundamental layout of a building.
There are those who hold that the oblong square represents the early civilized
world, when as in the case of the Roman Empire it stretched due East and West to
about twice its Northern and Southern limits. This has seemed to me more fanciful
than demonstrative. It might as easily be supposed to represent the famous double
cube, that puzzle of the centuries. I refer of course to the ancient problem requiring
the determination of the size when the cubical altar of Apollo was to be made with
twice the former volume.
But let us not get too far from the Lodge room. Recall the occasion when the term
oblong square is used. Consider the immediately preceding and following locations
and positions. Do not forget the peculiar features of the ceremony of laying a
cornerstone of any building when performed with Masonic auspices, and in
connection therewith compare the ceremonial associated with the North-east
comer. Now let us go a step further, and I use this expression advisedly.
Having the above in mind, think of the bonding of a wall as it would be thought of
by an operative Mason. The simplest and cmdest way of rough walling would be to
throw the squared stones mdely together hit or miss. Probably the inexpert would
lay them end to end and side by side as the obviously quickest way of getting over
the ground. Does this suggest anything to the reader as being comparable with the
progress made at the entrance and until the candidate has been properly taught?
More I cannot say of that particular feature, but to the discerning enough has
probably been submitted.
Let us pass on our way. The bonding of a wall calls for the placing of certain
bricks or stones at an angle to the rest, preferably a right angle as a matter of
efficiency and for compactness; the several parts then lending each other their
maximum co-operation and being more uniformly acted upon by the mortar or
cement. In this position they better resist the load that may be placed upon them.
Their individual and complete strength is firmly a unit, they stand together in
cohesive compactness. Thus should we Masons stand and so are we taught.
Stones or bricks are seldom cubes for building purposes. They are oblongs
preferably, and invariably squared. The tools to test them are all the better for
having their axes of different lengths, and especially is this tme if the oblong
square contains the ready means of setting up the forty-seventh proposition. Then
the workman is not only equipped to carve the stone but to lay out the area for the
The Masonic student wishing to go further into the use of the square by the old
workmen may well consider the painted and sculptured representations of the tool
itself. He may also examine the working methods of such as Cellini, Vasari,
Vitravious, etc., in the proportional uses of such implements as the square in
highly skilled masons' work, they being architects of antiquity of whom the oblong
square is a fitting symbol.
THE PURPOSE OF MASONRY
"There comes from time to time, with what would seem increasing frequency, a
cry for leadership by Freemasonry and its organizations, but when these cries are
analyzed they seem to suggest an abandonment of the most sacred of our principles
and to call for a will-o'-the-wisp guidance into the Sorbonian bogs of politics or
down the Gadarenian cliffs of religious controversy.
"Of all those who so insistently demand that Freemasonry shall take up all the
latest fads as they catch the wind of popular favor, or that we shall zealously
attempt to divide the citizens of our nation into many warring camps, that the
sacred walls of our asylums may resound only with the accents of 'hatred,
uncharitableness and intolerance,' we may wisely ask, 'Whither goest thou ? What
is the way you ask us to travel, and where is the end of the journey upon which you
would have us enter with light hearts ?'
"It is true that an order without a purpose would be like a body without a soul, but
that purpose certainly need not be to control or dictate the daily life, the politics, or
the religious affiliations of our fellow citizens.
"Primarily, the great purpose of Freemasonry is the teaching, by and through its
organized forces and its symbolism, of the moral truths which lie at the foundation
of human society. So far as it performs its great duty to humanity, Freemasonry
selects those men, and those men only, whose character and intelligence fit them
for its teachings; and those men, by most solemn and sacred appeals to their minds,
their hearts and their emotions, it knits into its great union of friends and brothers
and sustains, supports and encourages them in all that goes to make up true
manliness. To those so selected and so trained we may safely leave the
performance of their duties to God, their country, and humanity.
"It is still true that charity and toleration are cardinal principles of Freemasonry,
and we may proclaim in all honesty and candor that we practice here and
everywhere, to the utmost extent, the great, generous, tolerant, liberal doctrines of
the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite."
—Barton Smith 33d
— o —
THE SWEETNESS OF A FRIEND
Be sure there is some one to whom you can open yourself, to whom you can tell
everything, and who will be willing to confide everything. Deserve such
companionship, and, where it exists, do not let it die away. On such intimacy
somewhere, all social life depends. — E. E. Eale.
SOME DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
BY BRO. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
RECURRING to the Legend of the Third Degree, the pivot upon which it revolves
is the existence of a building secret, represented as a Master- Word, which the
Builder died to preserve. Owing to his untimely death, the Word was lost, and it
has always been recognized in Masonry that the Temple, unfinished at the moment
of the untoward event, remained with its operations suspended and was completed
later on by those who obviously did not possess the Word or key. The tradition has
descended to us and, as I have said, we are still on the quest.
Now what does all this mean? We have no concern at the present day, except in
archaeology and history, with King Solomon's Temple. What is meant by this
Temple and what is the Lost Word ? These things have a meaning, or our system is
stultified. Well, here are burning questions, and the only direction in which we can
look for an answer is that which is their source. As to this, we must remember that
the Legend of the Master Degree is a Legend of Israel, under the aegis of the Old
Covenant, and though it has no warrants in the Holy Writ which constitutes the Old
Testament, it is not antecedently improbable that something to our purpose may be
found elsewhere in the literature of Jewry.
I do not of course mean that we shall meet with the Legend itself; it would be
interesting if we did but not per se helpful, apart from explanation. I believe in my
heart that I have found what is much more important, and this is the root-matter of
that which is shadowed forth in the Legend, as regards the meaning of the Temple
and the search for the Lost Word. There are certain great texts which are known to
scholars under the generic name of Kabalah, a Hebrew word meaning reception, or
doctrinal teaching passed on from one to another by verbal communication.
According to its own hypothesis, it entered into written records during the
Christian era, but hostile criticism has been disposed to represent it as invented at
the period when it was written. The question does not signify for our purpose, as
the closing of the 13th century is the latest date that the most drastic view— now
generally abandoned— has proposed for the most important text.
We find therein after what manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon's Temple
was spiritualized; we find deep meanings attached to the two pillars J. and B.; we
find how the word was lost and under what circumstances the chosen people were
to look for its recovery. It is an expectation for Jewish theosophy, as it is for the
Craft Mason. It was lost owing to an untoward event, and although the time and
circumstances of its recovery have been calculated in certain texts of the Kabalah,
there has been something wrong with the methods. The keepers of the tradition
died with their faces toward Jerusalem, looking for that time; but for Jewry at large
the question has passed from the field of view, much as the quest is continued by
us in virtue of a ceremonial formula but cannot be said to mean anything for those
who undertake and pursue it. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and
the destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters of
Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the word
did not come back into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired Cyrus to
bring about the building of the Second Temple and the return of Israel into their
own land, they went back empty of all recollection in this respect.
THE DIVINE NAME
I am putting things in a summary fashion that are scattered up and down the vast
text with which I am dealing— that is to say, Sepher Ha Zohar, The Book of
Splendor. The word to which reference is made is the Divine Name out of the
consonants of which, He, Vau, He, Yod, we have formed Jehovah, or more
accurately Yahve. When Israel fell into a state which is termed impenitence it is
said in the Zoharic Symbolism that the Vau and the He final were separated. The
name was dismembered, and this is the first sense of loss which is registered
concerning it. The second is that it has no proper vowel points, those of the Name
Elohim being substituted, or alternatively the Name Adonai. It is said, for example:
"My Name is written YHVH and read Adonai." The epoch of restoration and
completion is called, almost indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come,
and the advent of the Messiah. In such day the present imperfect separation
between the letters will be put an end to, once and forever. If it be asked: What is
the connection between the loss and dismemberment which befell the Divine Name
Jehovah and the Lost Word in Masonry, I cannot answer too plainly; but every
Royal Arch Mason knows that which is communicated to him in that Supreme
Degree, and in the light of the present explanation he will see that the "great" and
"incomprehensible" thing so imparted comes to him from the Secret Tradition of
It is also to this Kabalistic source, rather than to the variant accounts in the first
book of Kings and in Chronicles, that we must have recourse for the important
Masonic Symbolism concerning the Pillars J. and B. There is very little in Holy
Scripture which would justify a choice of these objects as particular representatives
of our art of building spiritualized. But in later Kabalism, in the texts called "The
Garden of Pomegranates" and in "The Gates of Light," there is a very full and
complicated explanation of the strength which is attributed to B., the left-hand
Pillar, and of that which is established in and by the right-hand Pillar, called J.
As regards the Temple itself, I have explained at length elsewhere after what
manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi-Kabalistic texts, so that it
appears ever as "the proportion of the height, the proportion of the depth, and the
lateral proportions" of the created universe, and again as a part of the
transcendental mystery of law which is at the root of the secret tradition in Israel.
This is outside our subject, not indeed by its nature but owing to limitations of
opportunity. I will say only that it offers another aspect of a fatal loss in Israel and
the world— which is commented on in the tradition. That which the Temple
symbolized above all things was, however, a House of Doctrine, and as on the one
hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution were perpetuated through
centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot of Mount Horeb in the
wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated by the breaking of the Tables of Stone on which
the Law was inscribed; so does Speculative Masonry intimate that the Holy House,
which was planned and begun after one manner, was completed after another and a
word of death was substituted for a word of life.
I shall not need to tell you that beneath such veils of allegory and amidst such
illustrations of symbolism, the Master-Builder signifies a principle and not a
person, historical or otherwise. He signifies indeed more than a single principle, for
in the world of mystic intimations through which we are now moving, the question,
"Who is the Master ?" would be answered by many voices. But generically, he is
the imputed life of the Secret-Doctrine which lay beyond the letter of the Written
Law, which "the stiff-necked and disobedient" of the patriarchal, sacerdotal and
prophetical dispensations contrived to destroy. According to the Secret Tradition of
Israel, the whole creation was established for the manifestation of this life, which
became manifested actually in its dual aspect when the spiritual Eve was drawn
from the side of the spiritual Adam and placed over against him, in the condition of
face o face. The intent of creation was made void in the event which is called the
Fall of Man, though the particular expression is unknown in Scripture. By the
hypothesis, the "fatal consequences" which followed would have reached their
time on Mount Sinai, but the Israelites, when left to themselves in the wilderness,
"sat down to eat and rose up to play." That which is concealed in the evasion of the
last words corresponds the state of Eve in Paradise, when she had become affected
by the serpent.
To sum up as regards the sources, the Lost Word in Masonry is derived from a
Kabalistic thesis of imperfection in the Divine Name Jehovah, by which the true
pronunciation— that is to say, the true meaning— is lost. It was the life of the House
of Doctrine, represented by the Temple planned of old in Israel. The Master-
Builder is the Spirit, Secret or Life of the Doctrine; and it is the quest of this that
every Mason takes upon himself in the ceremony of the Third Degree, so that the
House, which in the words of another Masonic Degree, is now, for want of
territory, built only in the heart, "a superstructure perfect in its parts and honorable
to the builder."
But if these are the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the
Sublime Degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a
speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building-Guild? The
answer is that all about that period which represents what is called the transition, or
during the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries, the Latin writing scholars were animated with
zeal for the exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the result that many
memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. Among those
scholars were many great names, and they provided the materials ready to the
hands of the symbolists. What purpose had the latter in view ? The answer is that
in Germany, Italy, France and England, the Zeal for Kabalistic literature among the
Latin-writing scholars had not merely a scholastic basis. They believed that the
texts of the Secret Tradition showed plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself, that
the Messiah had come. This is the first fact. The second I have mentioned already,
namely, that although the central event of the Third Degree is the Candidate's
Raising, it is not said in the Legend that the Master-Builder rose, thus suggesting
that something remains to come after, which might at once complete the legend
and conclude the quest. The third fact is that in a rather early and important High
Degree of the philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master-Builder of the
Third Degree rises as Christ, and so completes the dismembered Divine Name, by
insertion of the Hebrew letter Shin, this producing Yeheshua— the restoration of the
Lost Word in the Christian Degrees of Masonry.
Of course, I am putting this point only as a question of fact in the development of
symbolism. Meanwhile, I trust that, amidst many imperfections, I have done
something to indicate a new ground for our consideration, and to show that the
speaking mystery of the Opening and Closing of the Third Degree and the Legend
of the Master-Builder come from what may seem to us very far away, but yet not
so distant that it is impossible to trace them to their source.
— o —
THE HOLY EARTH
There is something beyond the philosophies in the light, in the grass blades, the
leaf, the sparrow on the wall. Some day the great and beautiful thought which
hovers on the confines of the mind will at last alight. In that hope is consolation.
THE ORDERLY LIFE
BY BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGIER, CHINA
It is almost commonplace to observe that one— perhaps the most important— of the
secrets of success in any career is a recognition of the value of time. "Dost thou
live thy life?" asks Poor Richard; "then value thy time, for time is the stuff life is
made of." It is often said that "time is money." But the phrase is inaccurate for time
is much more than money. It is true that time may usually be converted into money
but it is by no means as easy to reverse the process. Has not the quest of the ages
been for an elixir that would prolong life ? And what fabulous fortunes would a
modem Croesus, like the late J. P. Morgan, have given for only one additional
The brevity of life and the elusiveness of time have afforded a favorite theme for
the poets from Homer down. Chaucer sang of
"The lyfe so short,
The craft so long to lerne."
Longfellow elaborates the same thought in his lines:
"Art is long and time is fleeting,
And our hearts though stout and brave
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave."
And the greatest dramatist of all time said:
"We are such stuff as dreams are made of
And our little life is rounded with a sleep."
Of course, too, the hymn writers have taken up the refrain in sombre strains like
"Swift to its close ebbs forth life's little day."
* * *
"Time is winging us away
To our eternal home.
Life is but a winter's day
A journey to the tomb."
THE WASTE OF TIME
Notwithstanding the paucity of time and its transcendant value nothing is more
common than the waste of it.
"Life we are told is a bubble, a shifting dream, evanescent as the morning mists,
uncertain as a young maid's promise, brittle as a reed. And yet men proceed to deal
with it as if it were as inexhaustible as the widow's cruise." (1)
To every serious individual, however, sooner or later, there comes a profound
recognition of this truth and a painful consciousness of this waste.
"We think at the age of twenty," said one (2) who later became an octogenarian,
"that life is much too long for that which we have to leam and do; and that there is
an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our grandfather. But
when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to reach it, or unfortunate
enough, as the case may be, and according as we have profitably invested or
wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way we have come, and cast up
and endeavor to balance our accounts with time and opportunity, we find that we
have made life much too short, and thrown away a huge portion of our time. Then
we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of our years the hours that we have
needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours each day, during which the surface
of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or ruffled by a single thought; the
days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay
beyond, in the way between us and which stood irksomely the intervening days;
the hours worse than wasted in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and
unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned
and done, in half a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our
forty years of manhood."
Here is another lament:
"Lost! yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, three golden hours, each
worth sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever. Gone
forever! In those bitter words lies the sting of the moralist." (3)
But mere remorse and repining will do little to relieve this unpleasant situation.
They are helpful only as they arouse us to action. The practical view is better
expressed in such homely maxims as these:
"Don't cry over spilt milk."
"Never too late to mend."
And the practical question is, What can be done to stay the waste?
Now the first step toward curing an evil is to ascertain its cause. And when we seek
the causes of our waste of time we will find foremost among them the lack of
system. We have not put our lives in-order. We spend our time in a haphazard
fashion. We have no fixed method of utilizing it. Hence we undertake enterprises
which we never finish because we find ere long that they should not have been
begun. If we read it is for amusement and recreation rather than for inspiration or
instruction. All this necessarily involves waste of time and the remedy must be
sought in the adoption of the orderly life. For an essential feature of any scheme of
economy is method, order, system. Well did Pope say
"Order is heaven's first law."—
And one of the first applications of method is the analysis and survey of our
resources. If, as Franklin says, "time is the stuff life is made of' our days are the
basic elements of the stuff.
"For the structure that we raise
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build." (4)
Our days then are the units of our lives and it is to our days that we must apply any
workable scheme for improving time.
"Oh," said Thomas A. Kempis, "Oh that I had lived one day thoroughly well." And
the psalmist prayed "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts
"Perdidi diem" (I have lost a day) was the lament of Rome's imperial philosopher,
Marcus Aurelius. Carpe diem! (seize the day) was the more practical thought of the
But the day which we must seize is not some distant day— not even to-morrow— but
"To-day is king" says Emerson.
And here we must face the truth that "procrastination is the thief of time." Too
many of us have planned great deeds "when we get time" !
PLAN THE DAY
Given to-day as the unit of our life, how shall we se it and stay the waste? Well in
the first place we must plan it. Just as the well ordered workshop has "a place for
everything and everything in its place," so the fruitful day has "a time for
everything and everything in its time."
"A time for everything;" ay there's the rub! It cannot be found, you say. Well it will
surprise you to ind how much can be done by trying. The idler has the least time.
And here we reach a second step in the process— selection. For since we have not
time or all we must be content to exclude some. At least we must select the most
essential things. Do not fail to allow for health, character, the moral, spiritual, and
intellectual life, as well as for business and pleasure. Without these first the day is
"We live in deeds not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings not in figures on a
dial." Some one said of a certain octogenarian, that in all his four score years he
had never really lived fifteen minutes !
It is only when we are trying to find a place in our crowded day for even the most
essential things that we come to appreciate the value of its fragments. For just as
the day is the unit of life, so the hour is the unit of the day and the minute of the
Strive as we may to make our working plan complete, the most successful of us
will always find moments, and even hours, which have not been provided for. Here
is the chance for economy. The old adage "save the pennies and the pounds will
take care of themselves," may be adapted to the situation. "Save the moments and
the days will take care of themselves."
Save some less important tasks for rainy days.
Have a good book ready for that wait at the station.
Set aside the next lull for reflection on some important problem.
It has been said of the late Grant Allen— who died in early middle life after having
written voluminously and much that will live— "Like all men who do much in this
world, he had a genius for using up remnants of time. He had, too, an almost
Gladstonian power of concentration." (5)
MAKE THE PLAN COMPREHENSIVE
But while our days, hours and minutes deserve our first attention we shall fail to
make the most of them unless they are considered as parts of a whole to which
each is essential. Our work of to-day is most effective when it supplements that of
yesterday and prepares that of to-morrow. Happy is the man who finds a life-
work— one to which he can devote his best energies throughout his active years.
One of the sagest remarks of Theodore Roosevelt was, that "the best fate is to be
able to work hard at something worth while:"
But to do this effectively we must look a long way ahead and plan for the far
future. And here we encounter a paradox. Just as we begin to realize at once the
brevity and the uncertainty of life, we must prepare to live long. For consider the
consequences of any other course ! If every man believed that to-day was his last,
the world would cease to move. Then
"Live as though you are to die to-morrow; work as though you are to live forever."
Let us try to find our vocation; let us discover a task worth while; and then let us
take a lifetime to accomplish it.
Another source of leakage in our time is indolence and sloth. We will not force
ourselves to do what is necessary to improve our time; it is so easy to drift and
dawdle. And here the orderly life requires the substitution of industry and diligence
for idleness. One of the most pregnant of the recorded sayings of Jesus is the
injunction, "Work while the day lasts; for the night cometh when no man can
"Not many lives but only one have we;
One, only one.
How sacred should that one life ever be
Day after day filled up with blessed toil,
Hour after hour still bringing in new spoil ! "
EXECUTE THE PLAN
However complete our working plan it will avail nothing unless we are prepared to
carry it out. "Hell is paved with good intentions." The shores of time are strewn
with the wrecks of beautiful theories whose authors had not the strength of
character to venture out upon the real ocean of life.
The execution of a matured plan is merely the most intelligent form of what we
call diligence or industry which is the handmaid of economy in enabling us to
make the most of our time.
But these virtues require an exercise of the will— that dynamo of the human spirit.
And it has been well said that "character is perfectly educated will." Hence our
quest for a means of utilizing time and stopping its waste ends in finding that it
depends in the last analysis upon the education of the will— i. e., the development
of character. This then is the key to the orderly life and this alone will enable us, in
Charles Kingsley's inspiring words, to
"Do noble things
Not dream them all day long;
And so make life, death and the vast forever
One grand sweet song ! "
(1) Adams (W. H. Davenport), The Secret of Success.
(2) Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 115.
(3) Adams, ubi supra.
(4) Longfellow, The Builders.
(5) Le Galleinne, Attitudes and Avowals, 205.
SQUARE AND COMPASSES
BY BRO. WALTER RUSSELL REED, NORTH DAKOTA
CRAFTSMEN, it is truly a matter of rejoicing to me that my joumeyings have
brought me near your Lodge of Operative Cathedral Builders, so that I may again
greet you, and know of your welfare. And it is a great pleasure to me, a Speculative
Mason, to note the progress you have made in the construction of this noble and
beautiful building. Its growth has no doubt seemed to you slow, but to me the
advance you have made is most evident, and the development has been rapid
toward that completed structure which our Master Architect has planned. It will be
truly a poem and a prayer in stone, and each of you may well be proud to have had
a part in so noble and glorious an undertaking as the erection of this cathedral
which overshadows your lodge.
You remember, possibly, that on the occasion of my first visit to you, I held
familiar discourse with you here on the likeness of such a work to the growth of
human character. Again when I was with you a brief time last year, I drew from the
same source some lessons on the strength of organization. Even as I walked about
the building today, I noticed in the work-yard many of the stones which had been
brought from the quarries, and were lying there until they should be needed.
Beautifully finished some of them were, and much labor had already been
expended on each one, yet as they lay here and there without order there was no
beauty in the assemblage. One, which seemed to be the key for an arch, appeared
at even a less advantage than its fellows, and I thought of our old legend of that
"Stone which the builders rejected." Yet, united according to the wisdom of our
Master Architect, these same stones will combine to form the wondrous strength
and beauty which is produced only by harmony. If it has chanced that you have
pondered on my words, Craftsmen, as you have day by day spread the cement
which has united these stones to one purpose, so that now you are grown to a
higher regard for the craft, a greater loyalty to the state, and a deeper respect for
law, then my words have not been in vain. For verily I would urge upon you that
by organization, and true co-operation, even the rough stones of Failure may be
budded into the beautiful temple of Success.
And now I might tell you of my travels in foreign countries, or speak of some of
the ancient legends of the craft. But rather would I talk of the familiar things
around you, so that with new eyes you may look on these common objects of
everyday life. Would I could leave with some of you that Philosopher's Stone of
thought and observation which turns each common thing to gold, and gives to him
who possesses it the true title of Master.
Brother Warden, I notice that you have, with a carefulness which is no doubt a
habit to you, brought your working tools with you into the lodge. Lend me for a
moment your square. And a right good one it seems to be, and I doubt not the angle
is true and the blades straight. How then, craftsman, do you use this tool? To try
your work. Ay, and how often it tells you that your work is not yet perfect, does it
not? The surface of the stone may be chiselled ever so smooth, but if, when the
square is applied, the angle proves to be untrue, all must be done again, or the
stone will be rejected by the overseers, and it may be that he who has shaped it will
be humiliated by seeing it heaved over among the rubbish. Truly, square work only
is what is required of us. Some may bring up stones for inspection of a pattern we
know not, and which the square will not justify. Yet be not too hasty to condemn
or criticise them, my Brother. Such stones may yet be needed for the building.
Genius is not always to be fettered by the common standard. But as for us, we
know that we must apply the square to every angle of our work ere we pronounce
Let us now name this working tool with a new name. Suppose we call it Duty. As
we day by day shape the rough ashlar of our rude and natural selves into the
perfect ashlar of virtuous character, let the Square of Duty be our unerring
standard. Swerve not from those principles of honor and morality, of truth and
right, which are expressed by this symbol. Stand erect, and let your feet form its
angle. In your walk of life pursue no crooked and devious way, but turn only on
the angle of the square. Let Duty be with you always, craftsmen. Do that thing
which is right; because you would, if that be possible; but even if you would not,
do it because you should. Only thus may your work be approved by the Great
But the Square of Duty is an inflexible and arbitrary thing. I would fain leave with
you some more inspiring thought, which may make duty easier, though not less
imperative. Worthy Master, in your work at the trestle board you often make use of
the Compasses. Lend me, I beg of you, those useful and valuable instruments.
Ah, here we find no fixed and arbitrary angle, but one which may be varied from
the closest contact to the widest circle of action. Let us give to the compasses, also,
a new name. We shall call them Love. And a great name it is; perhaps that Most
Great Name which gives to its possessor power even over things of darkness and
evil. Duty often drives unwilling feet, which with Love go gladly. Duty alone
could not bring us Goodness, or Devotion, or Charity, or Heroism. Truly, we must
place Love above Duty, for Duty speaks to us from the earth, but Love comes
down from God. Let Love guide you in your dealings with your fellow men, and
Duty will be easy.
See, brethren, we have by thus placing the compasses on the square formed the six
pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, with which you are familiar in ecclesiastical
architecture. You already know some of its meanings; possibly now you have
learned another. Let us lay these tools, so placed, here upon the open Book of the
Law, that like a Blazing Star the Square of Duty and the Compasses of Love may
be as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
A MASON'S PRAYER
Oh ! Unseen Power that rules and controls the destinies of the children of earth:
teach me the symphony of life so that my nature may be in tune with thine. Reveal
to me the joy of being loving, self-sacrificing and charitable. Teach me to know
and play life's game with courage, fortitude and confidence. Endow me with
wisdom to guard my tongue and temper, and learn with patience the art of ruling
my own life for its highest good, with due regard for the privacy, rights, and
limitations of other lives. Help me to strive for the highest legitimate reward of
merit, ambition, and opportunity in my activities, ever ready to extend a kindly
helping hand to those who need encouragement and succor in the struggle. Enable
me to give a smile instead of a frown, a cheerful kindly word instead of harshness
and bitterness. Make me sympathetic in sorrow, realizing that there are hidden
woes in every life no matter how exalted or lowly. If in life's battle I am wounded
or tottering, pour into my wounds the balm of hope, and imbue me with courage
undaunted to arise and continue the strife. Keep me humble in every relation of
life, not unduly egotistical, nor liable to the serious sin of self-depreciation. In
success keep me meek. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted by the thought that if
there were no shadow, there would be no sunshine, and that everything in life must
have its antithesis. Grant that I may be a true, loyal friend, a genial companion with
the broad, honest charity born of an intimate knowledge of my own shortcomings.
If I win, crown me with the laurels fitting to be worn by a victor, and if I fall, may
it be with my face to the foe, fighting manfully, "and falling fling to the host
behind,— play up, play up, and play the game." —William J. Robinson.
— o —
THE MOTIVE OF MASONRY
The cardinal doctrine, the underlying motive of Masonry, is service. There is not a
degree in the elaboration of its teachings which lacks the inspiration of this
thought— service to our fellow men, regardless of race, creed or color; service to
our country; service to God. In the Nineteenth Degree of the Scottish Rite the
teaching is emphasized that "Unconsciously we obey the dead; and the living,
when we are dead, will obey us." Life is worth living in all its aspects if it be made
worthy by doing. The waves of human influence go on and on in every widening
circles until they beat upon the shores of time itself with resistless energy. The
impulses of Masonry— ah, who can foresee their outcome? Y ou, and I, my brother,
have it within our power to contribute to those things which shall make others obey
us long after we are dead and forgotten. Shall it be for weal or for woe? It must be
for weal if we walk uprightly in the sight of God and of men, discharging our
obligations with Masonic fidelity.
— J. H. Marrow, Cal.
— o —
FOUNDERS OR FINDERS ?
People talk sometimes of the "founders" of religion. But did ever a man in all the
history of the world found a religion? Did Franklin found electricity ? Did Newton
found gravitation ? Both forces existed long before these men were born. They
were the finders, and not the founders. It is so with religion. Neither Moses, nor
Buddha, nor Zoroaster, nor Jesus, ever founded a religion. Religion was founded in
the primitive constitution of things, and these men were the finders of it instead of
being its founders. They are gone and the traditions have followed them. The
original order of things remains. Let us study religion at its primal sources. Let us
seek as they sought, and we shall find as they found. They will help us to find. But
not one of them ever claimed to be a founder of religion. They all depended on
— E. L. Rexford.
MAN AND WOMAN
The man be more of woman, she of man;
He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,
Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;
Till at the last she set herself to man
Like perfect music unto noble words.
MASONRY: ITS PHILOSOPHY AND INFLUENCE IN WARTIME
BY BRO. JOHN LEWIN McLEISH, OHIO
Years ago one or our greatest Masonic writers declared: "Masonry is the great
Peace Society of the World. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international
difficulties and disputes, and to bind Republics, Kingdoms and Empires together in
one great band of peace and amity."
The general laity little appreciate the boundless influence for good exerted in
troublous wartimes by the Order whose keynote is silence and unostentation,
whose basic foundation is cemented by the principles of brotherly love, relief and
truth, of liberty, fraternity and equality. The Masonic Order is a vast army of men
bound together by the mystic tie of brotherhood universal.
In the United States it numbers over two million members, and has fifty-one
sovereign Grand Lodges. Of these, the smallest jurisdiction is the District of
Columbia comprising sixty square miles and embracing thirty lodges with more
than ten thousand members.
The Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 lodges with a total membership of
234,333. Eight Grand Lodges of Canada dominate 94,359. In Germany are eight
Masonic sovereign jurisdictions, in South America six, in Australia six, in India
five, in the West Indies three, in Mexico, Liberia, Egypt, Central America,
Hungary and Servia, one each. In France and Italy Freemasonry is exceptionally
powerful, as also in Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.
To the lot of the Freemasons of the United States it has fallen to send first aid to
their distressed brethren abroad. Right nobly they have responded to the call.
Through the United States Masonic War Relief Association, with headquarters at
Cincinnati, Ohio, a most substantial sum has been raised and liberal disbursements
made respectively to the Grand Priory, Knights Templar of England and Wales, the
Grand Lodge of Masons of Ireland, Masonic Relief Fund of Scotland, Grand
Lodge of Masons in Germany, Supreme Council of Scottish Rite in Luxembourg,
Grand Lodge of Masons in Switzerland, Grand Lodge and Supreme Council in
Belgium, and the London Branch of the Masonic War Relief Association of the
It is hoped and planned to expend in like manner $100,000, by the end of the
current year. At this moment measures are under way to make ample provision for
veteran distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans, whose need will be
especially pressing in the aftermath of war.
At no time in the world's history has the Universal Brotherhood failed to answer
the crying need of humanity; never has it shirked the call of country when the
cause was just, nor failed to raise its mighty voice in protest at a time when to draw
the sword against a weaker enemy, could only mean the staining of a nation's flag
with lasting dishonor.
American Masonic History is especially interesting. How many people today know
that the Boston Tea Party had its inchoation in a Masonic lodge room, that the
participants in the history making raid upon British ships in Boston harbor were all
Masons? Of all the minute men answering the summons of Paul Revere, many
were brothers of his Masonic lodge. General Warren who fought and fell at Bunker
Hill, was a Worshipful Master. Our Declaration of Independence was the
handiwork of two great Masons, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and
Thomas Paine. Of the fifty six signing it, two-thirds, it is said, were Masons,
among them Charles Thomson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Captain William Whipple
and the entire Virginia delegation. Peyton Randolph, the President and most of the
First Continental Congress, were Freemasons.
Every army of civilization has its Masonic lodges. Among members of the
American military lodges were Washington, Light Horse Harry Lee, Gens.
Warren, Israel Putnam, Mad Anthony Wayne, Baron de Kalb, Lafayette, Andrew
Jackson, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, David Crockett, Worth, Quitman,
McClellan, Robert Anderson, Garfield, McKinley, Albert Pike, Nelson A. Miles,
and John Corson Smith.
Has it ever occurred to you to reflect exactly what in Masonry has attracted and
sustained the unflagging, lifelong interest, devotion and enthusiasm of Americans
like Washington, John Paul Jones, Franklin, Monroe, Andrew Johnson, Garfield,
McKinley, Roosevelt, Thomas Marshall, Bryan, and a legion more of our most
reprentative men of affairs?
The whole Philosophy of Masonry is uplifting and inspiring. Nowhere else can be
found a more bitter arraignment of the horrors and futility of war, than in the
Masonic teachings. The question has been asked frequently of late: "What is the
attitude of Freemasonry towards the World Powers at present engaged in a titanic
struggle to prove the right of might ?"
I think it may best be answered by the beautiful paragraphs scattered through that
voluminous masterpiece by Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogmas of the Scottish Rite
" They apply as forcibly today as when first offered to his Masonic brethren a
generation ago. Read with me:
"Wars like thunderstorms are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is
not a demon without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of
"When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with
Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is
a baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the
hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and
Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to
"In the mutual appeal of Nations to God, there is the acknowledgement of His
might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through
which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of
defeat, the quenchless sense of duty, the stirring sense of honor the measureless
sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke
of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of
Fraternity. . . The nation that grasps at the commerce of the world, cannot but
become selfish, calculating, dead to the noblest impulses and sympathies which
ought to actuate States."
"It will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its commercial
interests by war; while to subserve
tween brethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of
almost daily occurance. It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first those
interests it will wage unjust war on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people
cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has
dared exile its kings, and elect its own ruler." "A war for a great principle
ennobles a nation."
"A war for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext is despicable, and
more than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness, men
and nations can descend."
"Who can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single War?"
"Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp, and circumstance, all its glitter and
"War comes with its bloody hands into our very dwellings. It takes from ten
thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender ties
of family and kindred. It drags them away to die untended, of fever, of exposure, in
infectious climes, or to be hacked, tom and mangled in the fierce fight: to fall on
the glory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away in awful agony to noisome and
"The groans of the battlefield are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands
of desolated hearths."
"There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table."
"Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, by the infection which he
has caught of camp vices."
"The country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down from the noble
interchanange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge and base
pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength in battle."
"Treasures are expended that would suffice to build ten thousand churches,
hospitals and universities or rib and tie together a continent with rails of iron. If
that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be calamity enough: but it is put to
worse use, for it is expended in cutting into the veins and arteries of human life,
until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood."
'Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still
war licences outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the
Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when
swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations."
"There has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world
was at peace. Always men have been engaged in murdering each other somewhere.
Always the armies have lived by the toil of the husbandman, and war has
exhausted the resources, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations."
Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing debt mortgages all estates and brings
upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest repudiation."
"At times the baleful fires of war light up half a continent at once. At times, the
storm revovling, howls over small areas only. At times, its lights are seen like the
old beacon fires on the hills, belting the whole globe."
No sea but hears the roar of cannon, no river but runs red with blood: no plain but
shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons: no field but is fertilized by
the blood of the dead: and everyvhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf
howls in the ear of the dying soldier."
No city is not tortured by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horid
blasphemy of thanking a God of love, for victories and carnage."
"Te Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers."
"Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the
infernal enginery of destruction, by which human bodies may be the more
expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, tom and mangled."
"MASONRY ALONE preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by his own
faith, the right of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the monarch who
seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to
repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on
maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and
In every war has been in evidence the potency of Freemasonry as an ameliorating
influence in the horrors all abounding. Masonry was especially dominant during
the American Civil War and self-sacrifices between bethren of the blue and
brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost daily occurance. It was
a Grand Lodge in SOuth Carolina which first voiced the policy its brethren should
pursue towards brother Masons of the North, as early as 1862, when the strife was
young. A Grand Lodge of Maine approved the encyclical almost word for word,
and the beneficent Masonic principles were put into actual practice by Grand
Lodges of the North and South almost simultaneously. Among other things
Masons were ordered:
"Be faithful towards all and singular the brethren whether these be met in lodges
dedicate, or only known to you by divers means in darkness or light, in health or
sickness, in wealth or want, in peril or safety, in prison, escape or freedom, in
charity or evil-mindedness, armed or unarmed, friend or seeming foe and as to
these, most certainly as towards brethren, when Masonically met on, by or with all
due and regular intercommunication and intelligence. . . Let us not hear among us
that there is war, that strife and dissension prevail, as Masons it concerns us not."
How different this fraternal stand of the Grand Lodge of a state at war, in 1862,
and that this year manifested by the Grand Lodge of Germany which has issued an
open announcement to the world from its headquarters in Berlin, suspending all
fraternal relations with the Masons of France, Italy, and England during the
continuance of this war.
Despite all this, the international Masonic press is repeatedly filled with
circumstantial and convincing proof-positive that German Freemasons have not at
all forgotten their Masonic obligations, and many heroic deeds are narrated as
performed by soldier Masons of the several belligerents to help a worthy brother in
the ranks of the enemy.
At no time in history has Freemasonry played a treasonable part against the
country which gave it shelter. In the eighteenth century the Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Wharton, a partisan of the Stuart Pretenders,
endeavored to enlist the Masonic machinery of England against the established
Government. In spite of his magnetic personality, and unusual popularity, the
Grand Master could not prevail upon his Masonic brethren to have a hand in his
nefarious plot. In disgrace, he surrendered his high office and fled to unhappy exile
on the continent.
As a reward for their unswerving loyalty in times of cunning conspiracy, and
revolution, the Freemasons of England today are the only Secret Society in Great
Britain permitted by especial grant and act of Parliament.
It may be that the human race is not yet ready for the practical application of the
Gentle Philosophy of Freemasonry.
One man in the present century tried to govern his administrative functions as
President of a Republic on Masonic Ideals. He fell a martyr to the passions of blind
bigotry and darkness. I refer to Francisco Madero, Jr., for a brief period President
of Mexico. This college-bred man of fine old Mexican ancestry is an ever present
obstacle to the recognition by our country of any chieftain in any way identified
with the politico-religious sect responsible for his assassination. Convincing proof
may be found in "An Open Letter to American Masons" in the New Age Magazine
for August, 1915, by a high Mexican Masonic Brother. This same journal of the
Scottish Rite, in its issue of March, 1913, had a touching tribute to Madero by
Brother George Fleming Moore, 33d. In it he says:
"The murder of Francisco Madero, late President of the Republic of Mexico, seems
to me the foulest and blackest crime of the age. Not very long ago, I received a
letter from him which clearly proved his sincere desire to guide his life and actions,
public and private, by those principles of equity and justice which make for the
happiness and prosperity of the individual and the race.
"He believed in the doctrine of sacrifice: that sacrifices for the sake of the truth, or
for his fellowmen would bring its reward either in this or in some other life.
"He was an active member of the Supreme Council A. & A. Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry of Mexico, and was a MASON. On one occasion while addressing
his lodge, he said: 'Brethren, this ritual of ours is very beautiful, and we teach high
ideals, but what are we, you and I, doing to carry out these ideals and teachings
into expression in our own lives, and in the affairs of our country ?'
"He was called weak and inefficient because he would not shoot men merely
because they crossed his pathway to power.
"He was laughed at as an Idealist because he hoped to lead his country to a place of
honor and power without ruining it by military despotism.
"He has fallen a victim to his ideals of truth and justice and the evil wiles of false
friends, for no man ever reproached him with vices until after he became a prisoner
and in the power of the men he had trusted.
"If his death shall teach men that nations must not let such crimes go unrebuked,
and shall render them impossible in the future, whether through intervention or by
other modes, then Francisco Madero's murder will bear good fruit, and we verily
believe, he would have sacrificed his life to secure that great result."
Can we not hope that before the present Carnival of Blood is carried to more
sickening extremes, the Sovereign Masters of the World's Grand Lodges will rally
the Sons of Light and Peace to making a practical protest against the insensate
madmen glutted with power and relying upon the obsolete doctrine of Divine
Right, to send their subservient subj ects to death ? Stranger things have happened.
In any event, when the last shot has been fired in the present world war, when the
representatives of the exhausted powers assemble to determine the readjustment of
territories, the payment of indemnities, and the signing of Treaties, . . the Power
behind the Pen which drafts documents of so vital an interest to posterity, will
unquestionably be that Masonry which has fought the good fight through the ages,
that Masonry which will insist that War must end forever, so that there may be
cemented more firmly hereafter, Republics, Kingdoms and Empires, . . if these two
latter still exist, . . in one great band of Peace and Amity.
— o —
KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON
"If the day looks kinder gloomy
And your chances kinder slim,
If the situation's puzzlin'
And the prospect's awful grim,
And perplexities keep pressin'
Till all hope is nearly gone,
Just bristle up and grit your teeth,
And keep on keepin' on."
--Frank L. Stanton.
QUESTIONS ON “THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY”
BY THE CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL
43. When did the Roman Catholic Church view Freemasonry with deep suspicion?
Why did it settle into deep seated hatred ? 18-1.
44. When, where and why did a Lodge of Freemasons defy a government edict and
what was the result ? 18-1.
45. What was the result of the promulgation of a government edict for the
abolishment of Masonry in Holland in 1735 and by whom was it instigated ? 18-1.
46. Why did Pope Clement XII denounce Freemasonry ? What were the penalties
inflicted upon those who visited a Lodge ? 19-1.
47. Give an account of the life and sufferings of John Coustos, a Freemason, who
suffered from the Inquisition at Lisbon, Portugal. Page 20-21-22-23.
48. What grounds did the Pope have when he wrote the Encyclical "Humanum
Genus" of 1884 condemning Masonry? Page 24.
49. What was the effect of the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 issued by
Pope Leo XIII? 24-1.
50. By what Popes of the R. C. Church were constitutions, edicts, epistles,
allocutions and encyclicals issued against the Freemasons ? Page 23.
51. Why are the fierce denunciations of Pius IX of peculiar interest to Masons? 23-1.
52. Why was Pope Pius IX expelled from Masonry, and who signed the
proclamation of his expulsion? 23-1.
53. Quote the Bishop of Malta, in relation to a Malta Lodge ? 24-1.
54. What does a Catholic do when he becomes a Mason and what does a Mason do
when he becomes a Catholic ? Page 26.
55. What was the nature of the articles against Freemasonry published in 1875,
1881, 1893 in "The Catholic World ?" 25-3.
56. What has resulted from these bitter and sweeping attacks upon Freemasonry?
57. By whom was the Roman Catholic Church drawn into an absurd entanglement
and what is said of him? 28-1, 2.
58, What reasons were given for the Pope's attitude toward Freemasonry, The Odd
Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Sons of Temperance ? 39-1.
59. What was the purpose of the Anti-Masonic Congress assembled at Trent in
September, 1896, and of whom was it composed ? 34-2.
60. What was the nature of the decision of the Holy See in January, 1895, by whom
announced in Cincinnati, and who were included in it ? 28-2.
61. What is the status of Freemasonry in Mexico at the present time? 1 10-2.
62. How has Masonry been affected by the tempests of war, the storms of
persecution or the denunciations of fanaticism ? Page 112.
63. At the present time is there any constant opposition to Freemasonry in the
civilized world? 48-3.
What unfavorable critic is worth noting? What favorable critic? 49 5 1 .
64. What is said of the termination of our pilgrimage on this earth ? 92-2.
65. What does the author consider to be the fundamental principles of Freemasonry?
66. What is said of the burial of a Freemason? 88-9
67. Where is Freemasonry now established? 71-3.
68. What has Freemasonry done for Humanity? 72.
69. How did Frederick the Great of Prussia help Free Masonry? Page 68.
70. Who nullified the temporal power of the papacy in Italy and established religious
and constitutional liberty ? 23-1.
71. What did the Right Reverend Henry C. Potter (bishop of the Episcopal Church
of New York) say of Freemasonry ? 49-2.
72. The most sacred of all freedoms being threatened in this land who should be its
most powerful defender ? 50.
73. How should fellowship in the Order of Masonry be regarded ? 50-1.
74. As now constituted of what does Freemasonry consist ? 60-1. How conferred ?
60-1. What is their foundation ? 60-1.
75. What is the name of the first Lodge granted a charter and what distinguished
American was a member ? 61-1.
76. In what year did the Masons of this country choose their first Grand Master?
77. Why were Masonic Lodges unknown in Austria, Russia and Poland in 1896? 34-
78. What is said of American Templarism ? 65-1.
79. What is the first published written record of the investiture of Knight Templar?
80. Is there a literature that will carry the individual Mason to the highest pinnacles
of Masonic learning ? To whom should we go for proper direction? 113-1.
81. What are the real Landmarks of Masonry as specified by Dr. Mackey? 97-1.
What is said of any attempt to alter or remove the Landmarks by which we prove a
Brother Mason ? 96-2.
82. How is a lodge described ? Page 87.
83. Where are Lodges of Freemasons (Grand and subordinate) now established ?
84. What kind of Masonic Lodges are maintained in Mexico and under what
ST JOHN’S DAY
AN old Latin document of our Order, said to be deposited with a Lodge at Namur,
and purporting to be a proclamation of the Masons of Europe, assembled at Cologne
in 1535, declares that Masons are called "Brethren dedicated to St. John," first
among the martyr stars of the morning. It tells us, further, that prior to 1440, the
Fraternity was called the Joannite Brethren, but that about that time it began to be
known by the name of Freemasons. No doubt it is largely fiction, but it may serve as
a text for an inquiry as to the relation of the two Saints John, and especially of St.
John the Baptist, to our Order.
There is no proof that either of these holy men were ever patrons of our Fraternity,
but it is a fact that Masonry has patronized them for ages. The reason for this may be
obscure so far as history is concerned, but it is obvious enough if we have a care for
spiritual suggestion and the fitness of things. One was a prophet bearing witness to
the Fight, the other an evangelist of Love; and since the object of Masonry is the
attainment of Light, and its first principle is Brotherly Love, it is not to be wondered
at that these two great figures became its patron Saints - one the leader of those who
are seeking the Light, the other the teacher of those who have found it. For the same
reason they are honored on the festal days of the old, beautiful Light-religion of
humanity - St. John the Baptist amid the splendor of summer, St. John the Divine at
the winter solstice when the mighty orb of Light is most remote from us.
St. John the Baptist was a prophet, "a son of the Voice of God," in the old Hebrew
phrase; "yea, and more than a prophet," said the Teacher whose advent he foretold.
"There hath not arisen among them that are bom of women a greater than John the
Baptist." No man ever won higher eulogy; no one ever more richly deserved it.
What is prophecy ? It is two things - forth-telling and fore-telling. The prophets have
been for the most part forth-tellers, the great burden of their messages being the
exposition and application of moral tmths. Yet ever and again they have seen the
clouds clear from the sky of the future, and have caught glimpses of a light upon the
far away hills of Time. They have seen, as men see in dreams, places, cities, august
figures, vast upheavals impending, and felt the incommunicable thrill of advancing
destinies. It is therefore that they speak in words cryptic and vague, foreshadowing
in dim and awful form the fashion of things to be.
Such was St. John the Baptist; a rebuker of kings, a scomer of sham, a denouncer of
iniquity, whose speech was swift, startling, eruptive, turgid, tearing away every thin
veil of pretense and bringing men face to face with eternal realities. Austere, aloof,
uncompromising, he saw clearly, felt deeply, spoke plainly; and if he lacked those
great fertilizing ideas out which new religions grow, he had a vast capacity for moral
indignation. Mere formalism evoked his withering satire. Profession without
performance provoked his blistering scorn. Hypocrisy he flayed with whips of fire.
Terrible in speech, he was yet tender of heart, and when the storm of his eloquence
has passed by the qualities that stand out in his life are his exalted purity of soul, his
passion for righteousness, his courage, his sincerity, his self-effacing humility, his
grand magnanimity - his rugged nobility of character and his heroism in death.
Truly, Masonry makes profession of high ideals when it invokes John the Baptist as
its patron Saint! Were he to appear at one of our festivals on his day, what would be
his message to the men of today who dedicate their Lodges in his honor? Would his
old indignation flash out upon us, rebuking us for our snug contentment, our smug
self-satisfaction, our worship of the past, and our ritualism without reality? Would
he not say to us today, as he did to the men of old, that we must repent in our hearts
and show by our deeds the sincerity of our professions and the sanctity of our vows
made at the altar of righteousness? These are things to think about on St. John's Day,
and if we are worthy to meet in his name they will make us pause and ponder, the
while we search our hearts.
Has Masonry, so eager to honor a great Prophet, no prophetic element in it today?
Has it no vision, no dream, no forward-looking program, no creative purpose for the
times to be? Has its altar light faded into the poor flicker of a painted fire? Or will it
become an inspired teacher of righteousness as the sovereign reality of the universe,
the solitary hope of humanity and the secure foundation of personal and social life!
Will it put a new dignity into its degrees, a new fire into its philosophy, and tell the
young men who throng its temple gates that they must prove their faith by their
deeds, and keep their vows in the home, in the marts of trade, in the state, and thus
foretell the coming of a nobler social order, a juster state, and a more humane
civilization ! Size does not signify. Numbers do not count. But righteous manhood is
* * *
Several of our readers have asked us to solve the problem of the Shakespeare
Sonnets, by which they seem to mean the question as to who the Dark Lady was
with whom the poet became involved in intrigue. Was it Mary Fitton, or some other
light lady of the Court of Queen Elizabeth ? Frankly, we neither know nor do we
care, because that is not the real problem of the Sonnets. Whether the story of the
Dark Lady be fact or fiction, after the manner of the times, does not matter; the
problem of the Sonnets is far deeper - the protest of man against the transitoriness of
love. Shakespeare loved a noble lad, and the more deeply he loved, as all of us
know, the more he was afflicted by the frailty of life, its uncertainty, its change and
decay. First he took refuge in the vague hope of racial immortality, at the same time
begging his friend to marry and leave a copy of himself in the world. But, alas! the
youth must die, and even if he leaves a child, the child is not he, and for love no
substitute will do. Then he vows to use his art as a poet to leave an ideal image of
his friend in the world, that so long as men think, and read, and love beauty they
may know the youth - as we know Arthur Hallum in the Tennyson poem. This
theme runs like an undertone through more than a hundred sonnets, until, at last, the
poet realizes that such an image is only an idea, not the lad himself; his memory is
not he. Time seems to be victor after all, leaving us to seek in old familiar places for
"the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still."
'Tis a squalid story told us in the third section of the Sonnets, how, in an hour in
temptation, the poet was caught by the wiles of a wicked woman and led astray, and
hating himself for it. She was older than the poet, a musician, of dark hair and eyes,
and known to be an adulteress. Yet he is fascinated by her, all the while knowing,
with one side of his nature, that he was being besmirched. How could he be base
enough to be enslaved by one so worthless? Yet it is just here, in the intensity of his
bewilderment and defilement, that the possibility of spiritual immortality is made
known. Within himself he finds an immortal nature at issue with his sin, denouncing
it, refusing to consent to it. This he recognizes as his true, eternal Self, and upon that
fact he builds his hope that by conquering his lower nature the great victory both of
life and death will be won. Hence those forever wonderful lines in the one hundred
and forty-sixth Sonnet, which is one of the greatest utterances of all time.
* * *
We are happy to announce a series of five lectures, beginning with our next issue, on
Masonic Jurisprudence, by Brother Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard School of
Law, whose studies in the Philosophy of Masonry were so much enjoyed last year.
The titles of the lectures are as follows: - The Data of Masonic Jurisprudence, The
Landmarks, Masonic Law - Usage, Masonic Law - Decisions, and Masonic
Legislation. These lectures, first delivered to the Acacia Fraternity of the University
of Nebraska, and again in the winter course under the auspices of the Grand Lodge
of Massachusetts in 1916, are a distinct contribution to Masonic literature. After
they have appeared in The Builder they are to be gathered into a little book by
Brother F. E. Chipman, of the Boston Book Company, and we are sure that many of
our Members will want to own the book.
Following these lectures, Brother W. E. Atchison, of Colorado, whose article on
"Making Masons at Sight" created no little interest, will give a digest of the various
Masonic Codes of the country, arranged topically - a huge undertaking, to be sure,
but a work much needed and very important. Taken together, these two series ought
to clarify the field of Masonic Jurisprudence, both as to its principles and practice,
and initiate our Members into the mysteries of Masonic legislation. Nor is that all.
Such a course of study should have a very marked influence upon the future
legislation of the Order, for that it will bring to each Jurisdiction the thought and
experience of the Craft at large.
Very wisely, as we think, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of
England has decided, at a recent meeting, not to press the resolution submitted to it
demanding more drastic measures against Brethren of German birth. It is deemed
best to let the matter rest as it is, inserting in the original resolution a proviso which
will keep it in force after the treaty of peace has been signed until such time as the
Grand Lodge shall see fit to modify its action. This is indeed good news, and we
sincerely trust that Grand Lodge will concur in the decision of the Board. Heaven
grant that it may be so.
* * *
If any of our Members are unfamiliar with the work of the International Bureau of
Masonic Affairs, we are sure they will desire to come in touch with its work. It is
conducted by Dr. Edward Quartier-LaTente, Beaux- Arts, 26, Neuchatel,
Switzerland, and its publications are well worth while both for their matter and
spirit. We wish also to call attention again to the Miscellanea Latomorum, a little
monthly journal of Masonic Notes and Queries, intended to facilitate
intercommunication between Masonic students, edited by Brother L. W. Levander,
Middlesex, 30 North Villas, Camden Square, London, N.W. England - price Live
Shillings. Both of these publications are worthy of encouragement by the Craft.
We are sure that Brethren will not deem it any disrespect to the dead, much less an
offense to the living, if The Builder does not make room for obituary notices and
appreciations sent to us. Such notices belong of right to the journals of the
jurisdictions in which the Brethren of whom they tell lived and toiled. The Society
thinks it wisest to confine its labors strictly to the task set before it, seeking to
deepen interest in the deeper aspects of Masonry, and using all the power at its
command to that one end.
THE SPIRIT OF MAN
SINCE the time long gone when we first read the old Greek Anthology, we have
had a fondness for such selections, and here is one so beautiful that it makes one
want to go off and cry: "The Spirit of Man," selected by Robert Bridges. At any time
this would be an anthology of distinction, but it is doubly so now, because it is the
work of the Poet Laureate of England, and because it portrays the war of the soul of
man against dust - the intrepid and unconquerable faith of humanity facing the brute
forces of the world. Amid the smoke and din of world war, it is eloquent of that
higher and deeper war which never ends, as it is prophetic of the greatest of all
The purpose of the work, as well as its unique arrangement, attract attention, the
intent being to show that spirituality is the basis and foundation of human life, rather
than its apex or final achievement. The method is to bring forward a cloud of
witnesses, chiefly poets and philosophers, beginning with the meditations of Spinoza
on the futility of life and closing with a triumphant chorus of faith; in short, to show
that "man is a spiritual being, and the proper work of his mind is to interpret the
world according to his higher nature, and to conquer the material aspects of the
world so as to bring them into subjection to the spirit," This is indeed the Great
Work which each man must achieve for himself, and by as much as he wins this
victory of deity over dirt, of sense over sensuality, of mind over body, by so much
does he attain the only success worth attaining.
How real this war is, how dark the shadows that becloud us, how menacing the array
of foes that come up against the soul, is shown in the First Book by the testimony of
poets expressing weariness with life, dissatisfaction, defeat of faith, and the old
world sadness. Over against this mood, in the Second Book, we see the spirit of
youth measuring itself against the facts of life, trying its wings made in fairyland,
and singing of love and beauty, of the wonder of Nature and the glory of the Ideal. It
is lyrical with joy, defiant alike of life and death, confident, audacious, unafraid, for
that it has not yet been subdued, if not dismayed, by the heat and peril and tragedy of
the battle. Oddly enough, Shelley is quoted more often than any other writer, and as
one reads his glowing lines again they seem like some remembered speech from
another and higher world, as if he were a Skylark caught and caged for a brief time
in this House of Mortality.
Turning to the Third Book we hear the voice of the Soul after its rough encounter
with reality; its sense of the terror of life - the themes being mortality, melancholy,
sorrow, and sin. It is the still, sad music of humanity in battle with Fate, which
Sophocles heard in a time far gone, piercing, poignant, unutterably pathetic.
Happily, in the latter half of the book the mind of man lays hold of great ideas of
God and truth and justice, and lifts itself out of the low valley of fear toward the
heights of vision and power. Frail he is and fleeting - here today and tomorrow gone
- but by making a noble life man passes out of the realm of things that fade, free
from the tyranny of Time and the terror of the Tomb. To unfold a beautiful soul, to
build a pure character, is to become a fellow to immortal spirits, a citizen of that City
where the sting of mortality cannot hurt, and where a thousand years are as a day.
Hence the grand chant of victory in the Fourth Book, with its rosary of hope, its
radiance of joy, its resounding shout of the Happy Warrior who, by loyalty to the
highest truth, has vanquished fear and fate and the dark shadow of death.
Read it, Brother; it will help you to live bravely in this beautiful world, while
looking beyond it to the reality of things that abide; keeping your heart responsive to
the Unseen, and bringing the light of the highest truth to the service of the humblest
duty. It will deepen the old divine discontent, making more vivid those ideals that
torment by their loveliness; it will trouble you with hauntings of an eternal
tomorrow, and make you redouble your effort for a larger, freer, richer life.
THE CATHEDRAL SINGER
"Slowly the Cathedral rises, in what unknown years to stand finished! Crowning a
city of new people, let it be hoped, of better laws. Finished and standing on its rock
for the order of the streets, for order in the land, and order throughout the world, for
order in the secret places of the soul. Majestical rebuker of the waste of lives,
rebuker of a country which invites all lives into it and wastes lives most ruthlessly -
lives which it stands there to shelter and to foster and to save."
After this manner James Lane Allen meditates on the larger meaning of the
cathedral of St. John the Divine, now slowly rising to crown Cathedral Heights, New
York City, and about it he has woven his story, which is also a national parable,
entitled, "The Cathedral Singer." It is a story of toil and trial and tragedy and tears -
heart-breaking in its ending - the while it wonders whether in the rush and scramble
of American life we have room for a cathedral. It is a question worth pondering,
most of all by Masons, and one likely to be pondered long after we close the book
and brush the tears away. Does the life of our "gay and giddypaced time" tend to
make men of cathedral-like soul? Can that great pile now rising in New York be
humanized and become a real part of our life? If so, such tragedies as the one here
told will not happen, and the help which mother and son found in their sorrow will
be more common than it is. It is a Story to break the heart - and mend it.
* * *
THE POWER OF MASONRY
The power of Masonry is like sunlight, quiet, unobtrusive, unhasting and unresting.
It does its work without bells or blare of trumpets. Too often, in our impatience for
results, we forget the silent force of a great fellowship by which men are brought
together at an altar of light and friendship, and what such an altar means, in ways too
many and hidden to trace, in the life of a community. From a tiny book called
"Freemasonry, its History, Principles, and Obj ects," we read these words:
"What a power for good in the whole community a well-ordered Lodge can become.
It is a body of influential and thoughtful men held together by principles appealing
to the highest development of the moral sense. Most other associations have to
appeal to what is novel and perhaps untried. But it is one of the signs of high genius
to make the best use of old materials. Beethoven invented no new instrument,
Handel added no new stop to the organ, Milton and Shakespeare added no new letter
to the alphabet, nor did the great painters enrich the palette with any new color. And
our principles need no bringing up to date, nor do we propound any novelty. Our
application of them may change to suit the varying need, but the principles are
founded on the same rocks as the throne of God himself, and they have for ages past
pointed to an unvarying goal, the diffusion of light and happiness; and so long as we
move toward that goal with one step, seeing with clear eye, speaking with one voice,
we shall never fail to attract to our ranks the best and noblest of our fellows."
* * *
Said Mr. Dooley: - "Opporchunity knocks at every man's dure wanst. On some
men's dure it hammers till it breaks the dure down, an' thin it goes in an' wakes him
up if he's asleep, an' afterwards it wurrks fr him as a night watchman. On other
men's dures it knocks an' runs away; and on the dures of some men it knocks an'
whin they come out it hits thim over the head with an ax. But every man has an
* * *
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
The Mason and the Child, by J. G. Gibson. London Freemason.
Three Times Three, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
The Origin of Templary, Freemason, Toronto.
First Degree Fecture, by D. S. Wagstaff. Trestle Board.
Masonry in Greece. International Bureau for Masonic Affairs
York and Scottish Rite. Virginia Masonic Journal.
Fief Ericson, The Norseman, by C. F. Willard. The New Age.
* * *
PAMPHFETS OF VAFUE
What is Freemasonry? by G. W. Speth.
Some Notes on The Knights Templar, by E.C.B. Merriman.
Origin and Development of Masonry, by J. M. Wise.
The Origin of Freemasonry, by W. W. Root.
Luther - His Relation of John Hus, by L. M. Kuhns.
Culture and the State, by Thomas H. MacBride.
Where Are Our Nation's Credentials, by A. E. Bear.
* * *
American Literature Since 1870, by F.L. Pattee. Century Co. $2.00.
History of the Eastern Star, by W. D. Engle, Indianapolis, Ind. $2.00.
The Spirit of Man, by Robert Bridges. Longman, Green Co. $1.50.
Lives Worth Living, by E. C. Peabody. University Chicago Press. $1.00.
The Books of the Apocrypha, by W. O. E. Oesterley. Revell Co. $3.00.
Concise Cyclopedia of Masonry, by E. L. Hawkins. A. Lewis, London. $1.25.
The Cathedral Singer, by J. L. Allen. Century Co. $1.00.
Masonic Symbolism, by A. H. Ward. Theosophical Publishing Co. $1.00.
— o —
The winds that o'er my ocean run,
Reach through all heavens beyond the sun;
Through life and death, through fate, through time,
Grand breaths of God, they sweep sublime.
O, thou God's mariner, heart of mine,
Spread canvas to the airs divine !
Spread sail! and let thy Fortune be
Forgotten in thy Destiny.
For Destiny pursues us well.
By sea, by land, through heaven or hell;
It suffers death alone to die,
Bids life all change and chance defy.
Life loveth life and good: then trust
What most the spirit would, it must;
Deep wishes, in the heart that be,
Are blossoms of necessity.
A thread of Law runs through thy prayer,
Stronger than iron cables are;
And Love and Longing toward her goal
Are pilots sweet to guide the soul.
So Life must live, and Soul must sail.
And Unseen over Seen prevail,
And all God's argosies come to shore,
Let ocean smile, or rage, or roar.
- David A. Wasson.
— o —
ABOU BEN ADHEM
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in his room he said,
"What writest thou?" This vision raised its head
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one ?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow-men."
The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again, with a great awakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed
And, lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
- Leigh Hunt.
THE QUESTION BOX
NO TRACE OF AGE
Brother Editor: - Tell met if you can, who wrote the following lines, and whether
there are any more that go with them. I have hunted for the author in vain:
"Teach me your mood, O patient stars!
Who climb each night the ancient sky,
Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
No trace of age, no fear to die."
Those lines mean much to me, being a kind of text for my faith, and I would so
much like to know who wrote them. -
They were written by Emerson, and may be found among the fragments of a poem
begun as early as 1831, probably earlier, and which received additions from time to
time tor more than twenty years, but was never completed. In its earlier form, it was
entitled, "The Discontented Poet, A Masque," but appears in his works - fragments
and all - as "The Poet." (Works of Emerson, Vol. IX, p. 277). They are indeed great
lines, reminding one of the Matthew Arnold poem, Self-Dependence, albeit nobler
as we think.
* * *
Of late you have been referring to a book called "Sidelights on Masonry," by
Lawrence. Tell us more about it, and what it is worth. - J.D.S.
It is one of a series of little books written or edited by Brother John T. Lawrence,
Past District Grand Warden, Madras, and is exceedingly interesting and worth while.
Indeed, the whole series is valuable - and inexpensive - such as By-ways in
Masonry, The Perfect Ashlar, The Keystone, Masonic Jurisprudence and
Symbolism; and we recommend them most heartily. They are published by A.
Lewis, 13 Paternoster Row, E. C. London, and sell for $1.25 each. They are
particularly valuable for a Lodge library because they are accurate, and the essays
and discussions are brief and can be read by busy men. The Society will be glad to
secure the set, or any volume in it, for any of its members.
* * *
RIGHT AGAINST RIGHT
RIGHT AGAINST RIGHT
A Brother asks if we believe that Jesus was sinless, and if he was how could he be
tempted ? Questions of this kind have no place in The Builder, but since he asks
simply for our opinion, for what it is worth, we may say, (1) that if Jesus was
sinless it was not because he could not sin, but because he would not sin; that he
became Master by mastering; and (2) the most trying temptations of life are not as
between right and wrong, but between one form of right and another, between the
good and the best. Shakespeare knew this when he said: "O virtuous fight! When
right with right wars, who shall be most right!" (Troilus and Cressida). Weak men
are tempted by their weakness; strong men by their strength. The temptation of
Jesus in the wilderness was an epitome of the struggle of every great soul since
time began - how to use rare power, for self or for others, for a lower good or a
higher end? Surely the Father of men does not tempt us with evil, but with good,
seeking to entice us to follow the truth to freedom. So much by the way.
* * *
Brother Newton: - 1 heard a sermon not so long ago in which the preacher - my
pastor - advocated the use of initiation by the church, or at least a kind of blend of
Lodge and Church polity. He referred to something of the kind in Philadelphia.
Tell us what you think about it. What was it that happened in the city of Brotherly
Love, anyway? - H.G.B.
Your pastor must have had in mind the usage of the early Christian Church, in
which initiation was practiced - probably in imitation of The Mysteries - whereof
you may read, if you are interested, in "Monumental Christianity," by Lundy,
especially the chapter on The Discipline of the Secret. The affair in Philadelphia
was interesting, and it stirred up a bad muss. One minister organized a secret
society of men called the Stonemen, after the manner of Masonry, having three
degrees, and many men of his own church and others joined it. It grew rapidly, but
it was found, at length, that the third degree was really little other than a way of
joining his church - or at least, of confessing to its peculiar tenets. Whereupon, as
you can imagine, there was an explosion, and the wrath of rival churches was
terrible. It was to laugh. Let us hope that your pastor will take due notice and govern
himself accordingly - and not after the fashion of the minister in Philadelphia.
* * *
PRINCE OF WALES
The item which has been going the rounds of the Masonic press to the effect that the
Prince of Wales was recently made a Mason, is an error. The mistake was due, says
the Birmingham Daily Post, to a misapprehension as to what young Royal Prince it
was who was admitted to the Craft. It was Prince Arthur of Connaught, the only son
of the Grand Master of English Masons - not the Prince of Wales. Albeit the Post
adds: "It would not be surprising if in the near future the Prince of Wales joined the
Order, following the example of not only his grandfather the late King Edward VII.,
but George IV., when each was Heir- Apparent. The close connection between
Princes of Wales and Freemasonry goes, indeed, much farther back than either, for
one of the earliest official publications of the Grand Lodge of England was
dedicated in 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II., 'a Master
Mason and Master of a Lodge,' and a direct ancestor of the present Sovereign."
* * *
There was read before our Lodge the other evening a lecture in which reference was
made to the ancient land of Lemuria a submerged continent which it is claimed
preceded the more or less fabled Atlantis. Also reference was made to one Rama, a
descendant of that people with fair skin, blue eyes and light hair which, according to
the lecture, migrated from what is now the polar zone, and who inhabited that
country in large numbers previous to the ice age, and in time drifted to what is now
continental Europe and western Asia; and this Rama was the one who introduced
civilization into India, etc. Outside of what was contained in the lecture I have been
unable to find any reference to either Lemuria or Rama. If a proper question I would
be pleased to know the probable source of the statements in the lecture. - E.P.H.
Almost certainly from some such work as "Rama and Moses," by Edouard Schure.
(Theosophical Publishing Co., New York); or "The Great Initiates," by the same
author, in which his series of interesting and highly imaginative studies are gathered
together. They are valuable as helping us to form some conception of the beginnings
of things, of the migrations of humanity in the dawn of time; but as authentic history
they are hardly to be trusted. With the utmost respect for the lecturer, we regret that
he did not give his authority, and also that he did not indicate in how far his narrative
could be substantiated and how far not. Esoteric history, like esoteric philosophy, is
* * *
I am doing some research work in Masonic Tradition if it is not asking too much
would like to have reference material. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Settle, first of all, what you mean by tradition - a word which is used in two senses
in Masonry and everywhere else. (1) Reports of events either in part or in whole
historically authentic, or altogether consisting of arbitrary fiction intended to
convey an allegorical or symbolic meaning - as Dr. Oliver used Masonic tradition;
(2) traditions which refer to customs and usages of olden time - and, in Masonry,
especially in matters of law and ritual observance. Take up, second, the value of
tradition in general, and the methods of testing its worth - a rich field with many
difficult questions, as you must know if you are at all familiar with theological
discussion, which may be found in books having to do with authority in matters of
faith. The principles formulated with regard to tradition will be found to apply to
Masonic traditions, whether it be traditions of the first kind or the second, "which
has been handed down at all times, in all places, and by all persons," which Vincent
of Lerins said must be the test of an authoritative tradition - antiquity, universality,
and common support. The importance of this subject is seen from the fact that
tradition has a large place in Masonry, and our Brother will need to define his
principles carefully, and keep his distinctions clearly in mind, the while he sifts the
mass of materials; as for example in the "Traditions of Masonry," by A. T. C.
Pierson, on the one side, and traditional Masonic usage' embodied in our landmarks,
laws, and ritual on the other.
* * *
TAKING MASONRY SERIOUSLY
Through the exemplary life led by my revered father, who was a member of our
Order sixty years, I had always held Masonry in highest esteem. But those feelings
were totally eclipsed when I experienced the thrill which must come to a thoughtful
man when the mysteries of Masonry are unfolded to him. My feeling of solemnity,
and the determination of my set purpose, reached their climax when, standing before
the Master of the Lodge, I heard him pronounce me a just and upright Mason.
Imagine my feelings when I heard that a Brother had stood sponsor for my
reputation ! Can you wonder that my firm resolve was never to drop below that
standard, if for nothing else than honor's sake, and to avoid bringing reproach upon
the Brother who had vouched for my integrity? Does not that experience explain
why we should take Masonry seriously? To me it does, most emphatically. Let me
ask this question: Do we, in our attitude toward Masonry, blend a full percentage of
esteem with efficiency? Yours most fraternally. Sidney Bartlett, Iowa.
DR. MACKEY'S WORKS
Could you tell me whether Albert G. Mackey's Masonic History and Encyclopedia
are considered reliable? - L. E. D.
Reliable, but not infallible. There is no book but will provoke differences of opinion
both as regards facts and the interpretation of facts - our little book, The Builders, is
no exception - but the works of Dr. Mackey are not only valuable, but almost
indispensible to the Masonic student. He was a tireless student, covering many fields
- almost the whole field of Masonry, in fact - and he was not always accurate,
perhaps; for one reason, because it is very difficult to be accurate as to many things
in Masonry. But his work as a whole is noble, useful and vastly important; it cost
him time and money and labor unbelievable - we hope soon to publish a sketch and
appreciation of the man himself, who deserves the honor and reverence of his
Brethren. Nevertheless, we have dreams of a different kind of Masonic
Encyclopedia, which shall limit itself to subjects more specifically Masonic, treating
each one adequately, so far as possible, giving references and authorities where
needed, and a brief bibliography with each article - after the manner of Hasting's
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Perhaps time will fulfill our dream; and if it
does all the best Masonic students of the world will join in its making, and each
article will be signed by the man who writes it. We shall see what we shall see.
* * *
THE FARLEY FAMILY
Can you assist me in some work I am doing in the geneology of the Farley Family?
The particular information I desire is the Masonic record of John Farley in Virginia.
He is a greaterandfather of mine, born about 1758 or 1768, and was a Mason, I
believe, in Bedford County. I have attempted some correspondence with Lodges
direct and the Grand Secretary of Virginia tells me that there is very little use trying
to get information back of 1800. 1 would like to establish the date and place of his
birth. His occupation was that of surveyor, and any information or suggestions will
be greatly appreciated. Fraternally yours, J. K. F.
Perhaps - who knows? - some member of the Society may be able to furnish exactly
the information wanted by Brother Farley. Meanwhile, we suggest that he take up
the matter with the Historical Society of Virginia, at Richmond, which has untold
stores of genealogical treasures in its keeping. If Brother Farley has not tapped that
source of information, it is worth his while to do so.
* * *
THE MASTER’S HAT
Can we not agree upon a head-dress for the Worshipful Master which shall be at
once seemly, dignified and characteristic? The horrible incongruity of a Master in a
"cady" marred my initiation, and took from the impressiveness of the ceremony not
a little. The operative Mason's cap would be less out of keeping, it seems to me.
Again, does not the "G" savor of provincialism instead of that universality which
should be the fundamental of Masonry? Fraternally, F. H. Dewart, Vermont.
* * *
A. F. &A. M.
In our list of regular Lodges I notice some jurisdictions are headed F. & A. M., and
others A. F. & A. M. What is the significance of the difference? Is there an
association known as the American Federation of Masonic Lodges, and are there
Lodges working in this country under the jurisdiction of Scotland? There are none in
our list of Lodges. The other day I was informed that there are Lodges in this state -
California - who make claim that they are from Scottish authority and that their
work is the same as ours. - A. J. B.
(1) These differences are a reminiscence of the days of the rival Grand Lodges of
Ancients and Modems in England. After the union in 1813, some jurisdictions kept
one form of title, some another. That is all. (2) The American Federation of Masonic
Lodges is a bogus body which takes itself very seriously. (3) The Lodges claiming
to work under the authority of Scotland are clearly clandestine. We are not familiar
with their history, nor greatly interested in it.
* * *
If it is not asking too much, I would like to see an article on The American Indian as
a Mason, in The Builder in the near future. That is, if the Indians have any Masonry,
and where they got it. - R. G.
See a little book entitled "Indian Masonry," by Wright. So far as the Indian had or
has any Masonry as we know it, he got it from the white man, though he of course
had his secret order corresponding to The Men's House of all primitive society. (See
Primitive Secret Societies, by Hutton Webster). We shall be glad to publish such an
article as Brother Gentry asks for.
THE OATH OF HIPPOCRATES
By the kindness of a Brother we have the following oath of Hippocrates, the Father
of Medicine, taken by the ancient Greek medical student upon entrance into his
chosen profession. It has been revived of late in our medical colleges, as for
example, by a non-secret, fourth-year, Medical Honor Society in the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago. It breathes a lofty spirit of dedication to a noble
art, as follows:
I swear by Apollo, the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all
the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this
oath and stipulation: to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my
parents, to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required; to
regard his offspring as on the same footing with my own brothers, and to teach them
this art if they should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by precept,
lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to
my own sons and to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation
and oath, according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that
method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the
benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I
will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel;
furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion. With
purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut a
person who is suffering with a stone, but will leave this to be done by practitioners
of this work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into them for the benefit of the
sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and
further from the seduction of females or males, bond or free. Whatever, in
connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I may see or
hear in the lives of men which ought not to be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, as
reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this oath
unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected
by all men at all times; but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be
* * *
"ROUGH SANDS OF THE SEA"
Dear Brother Newton: - 1 was much interested by the letter from Bro. Ticknor. re the
"Rough Sands of the Sea," in your February issue. Unfortunately, I have forgotten
my Greek pretty thoroughly, but I asked one of our best scholars here about it,
Principal Hutton of University College, and I append the gist of his letters:
"I know of no passage which regards the foreshore as worse than either land or
beater for burial: there are many allusions to foreshore burial, but all of a perfectly
natural and rational kind: a body is washed up - the body of a drowned stranger -
where should one bury it so naturally as on the foreshore. Horace (Odes 1.28) writes
of Archytas the mathematician being so buried near Mutinum and of the spirit of
another drowned person appealing to him and to any passer by for similar burial."
"The ancient world - like our own faded sentiment on the same subject; but much
more positively and earnestly - demanded burial for the dead; it felt that only burial
"laid the ghost," It regarded the burial of drowned sailors on the foreshore as a
melancholy end, not because the foreshore in itself was the most dishonorable place
of burial, but because it was a wild, forlorn, and weather-beaten grave, wet by the
sea. though not perpetually as in the worst case of all. I find this idea expressed in
the Greek anthology three or four times; in the section of epitaphs it occurs most
forcibly in No. 430 (p. 199, Edwardes' Edition) where the dead man lies eight cubits
from the sea, and the sea is told to rage as it pleases, but to keep off that distance.
Other epitaphs bearing on drowned men are 456 (p. 21 1, Edwardes), 513, 524, and
"The Greek sentiment does not appear to me to have included any idea of
consecrated ground or unconsecrate, least of all any special aversion to the foreshore
as worse than burial at sea, but merely the world wide idea that burial was necessary
for the spirit's rest."
"In Shelley's case I imagine his religion, if not also medical scruples, forbade his
burial in the earth proper, which was all consecrated; and suggested the foreshore as
the only alternative - and a more humane one - than casting the body back into the
So much for the Greeks, but this is hardly what we are looking for. So I suggested to
Principal Hutton, that the idea of ignominy might be implied in the fact that the
foreshore is a no-man's-land, owned neither by sea nor land but the scene of constant
battles between Poseidon and Gaiae; thereon no altar could be raised whereon to
offer a sacrifice to the departed shade, not could any memorial be built there to his
memory. His body would be constantly disturbed by the strife of natural forces, and
his spirit would be similarly troubled, for that its former tenement could not rest,
disintegrade in peace, and set him free. If a suicide was to be buried at four comers,
why not the perjurer in the constant turmoil of the foreshore.
To this he replied that if any sect, or church, or tribe regarded burial on the foreshore
as peculiarly ignominious, because the foreshore is the battle ground of the deities of
earth and sea, the idea is logical and to that extent natural, but while these two
customs probably go back to a common source, it is not to a classical source, rather
to the imagination of some northern tribe, more gloomy and less rationalistic than
were the very light-hearted and natural Greeks.
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
CONSERVATISM SHOULD BE REASONABLE
I read in a recent issue of The Builder an article from an inquiring correspondent on
the question of physical qualifications of petitioners for the degrees of Masonry
which I believe to be pertinent. I believe that this is a proposition that should not be
arbitrarily dismissed as being beyond the pale of serious discussion on the ground
that the requirement of physical perfection in the applicant is a Masonic landmark
and therefore can not be waived or ignored by the Masonry of today.
I may begin by stating that I am constitutionally conservative in all things: in matters
of religion, of politics; of social and economic questions, and of Masonry. I believe
firmly in "holding fast that which is good" in "all things" which concern the spiritual
or temporal interests of mankind while the irresistible current of the law of evolution
inevitably bears us gradually, and I may say largely unconsciously, toward better
and higher conditions. The label "Progressive" is always a signal of caution to my
intellectual eye and causes me to stop at once and carefully consider what is covered
by that label. Having lived through a rather extended period of time, and for the
greater part of that time having been a student of Man, psychically and physically,
and of his activities and their resultants in both of these phases, I have learned that
mass-advancement is not to be attained by leaps and bounds - by jumping over
things - but by the slow and patient processes of removing the effete and no longer
serviceable, or that which has been well proven to be bad, as the new and studiously
selected is substituted for it. Many serious errors have been made in the past, and are
being made in the present, by attempting to erect new and hastily or unskilfully
constructed temples on foundations that do not rest upon the bed-rock of human
nature or human wisdom, the grain-by-grain accumulation of the thought and
experience of all-man in all-time.
With this understanding of my mental attitude, let me approach Masonic questions
unsuspected of being of those who would recklessly advocate "innovations upon the
body of Masonry," But may I ask what are we to regard as the body of Masonry in
the light of what it has been for now nearly two centuries ? Are we to regard the dust
of operative Masonry not even the bones of it remaining to our age, as a "body" to
which we are to be hopelessly chained for all time ? Speculative Masonry has
nothing in common with Operative except its name and in part its traditions, its
ritualism, its legends, its degrees and ceremonies, its broader purposes, have been
bom or developed within the era of purely speculative Masonry.
As to the bodily perfections required in the apprentice of the old era, it was the
worthy aim and intent of the material rather than moral builders of the time to
exclude from the inner circle of skilled workers those who for natural or accidental
reasons could not hope to attain to perfection, or even to competency, in the
laborious and exacting service of the Craft. Defect of limb might easily be an
insuperable obstacle to the mechanical success and usefulness of the man in the
practical art of building; at the least it was a handicap to his participation with his
fellows on equal terms.
But Speculative Masonry, having no connection with physical labor in any form, has
declared that "it is the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a
man to be made a Mason." It requires of him a prepared heart, a receptive mind, an
appreciation of moral worth, a faith in an all- wise and all-ruling Supreme Power in
which he lives and acts and to which he is responsible for time and eternity. He is a
builder of character in the broadest sense of the term, both in his individual and in
his relational life: not of monuments of stone, however grand and temporally
enduring such might be.
In this building with "living stones," this construction of temples "not made with
hands," not to be disintegrated and destroyed with the progress of the ages but to
grace the unchanging landscape of the empire of God himself, what matters it that
the perishable body be imperfect? If heart and mind be competent to the work the
Speculative Mason is required to perform, what more injustice may we exact of him
who desires to engage with us in our "great and important undertaking?"
I think it time that we should relax our requirements as to ability to strictly conform
to purely mechanical and no longer necessary portions of our ritualistic ceremonies
and accept any man internally qualified and not arbitrarily exclude him because of
some perhaps slight natural or accidental deformity or deficiency of the body. If he
be morally, spiritually and intellectually able and willing to conform to the only
requirements now essential in a true Mason, that should be sufficient. I do not
believe such relaxation could now be by any stretch of the meaning of terms
construed as an innovation upon the body of Masonry or as the violation of a
landmark. A landmark can only exist while the "land" exists; and the land of Ancient
Craft Masonry was long since swallowed up in the changing ocean of time.
Frank Peffley, Washington.
* * *
THE CHURCH AND THE CRAFT
It has long been the claim of some of the denominations among the churches that
fraternities, particularly Masonic Orders, are inimical, and even hindrances to their
work - a commission which has the Divine authority and sanction.
The sincerity of this claim has been quite borne out by their making the matter
involved a pivotal test of membership, though in the final analysis of motive in the
matter involved, it has, no doubt been true that human nature in this, as in many
other things centering in the success of institutions through given principles, has
often played for the higher stakes through the benefit of a doubt.
While the "war of words," to say nothing of other means employed, has been from
"time immemorial" the weapon of the warfare of its enemies, Masonry's only
defense has been its absolute "silence and circumspection."
Right here I wish to make it clear that this little paper is in no sense whatever a
defense or arraignment of either of the institutions involved, as from neither of these
angles can anything be accomplished save real harm. I would merely call attention,
both from the standpoint of a Churchman and a Mason, to the main question of the
ages, recognized now more than ever before - human welfare and uplift.
No two moral institutions in the world have more distinct and clearly defined
methods for given purposes than the Church and Masonry. As light and warmth, air
and moisture are essentials to life, there is no conflict in the elements and no one of
the essentials can be eliminated. So it is with human nature which must have its
schooling and training in this world.
This human quantity, however, must necessarily go to its tutor, as the rough Ashlar
goes into the hands of the Fellowcraft, in its crude and natural state. Herein is the
practical application of Masonry to the material, the institution to the human nature
of which it must its temple build. If the stone has only the right material in it to
render it eligible to a place in the Temple, it may, eventually, in the symbolism,
become a living stone in that House not made with hands.
Thus Masonry takes man into its fellowship and confidence as it finds him, only
stipulating that the material must be sound. Creeds or dogmas count for nothing as
regards the quality of the material. Most men are apologists for some of them, some
men for most of them, while yet others stand from under them all. Even in their
classifications, it would be difficult to find two who are alike. So it is the man
himself, his moral fibre and habits that furnish the acid tests for the material, that
Religion, or profession, or its opposite, like worldly wealth or honor, does not, as
such, recommend a man to Masonry. It is solely a question of morality and a belief
in a Supreme Being. On these two points Masonry has always been an absolutely
fair proposition for HUMAN NATURE to invest in. It has been as just as it has been
true, and human as it has been fair.
But, relatively speaking, men must leave their coverts and come either to the Church
or Masonry, or, as some churches do not carry on their string of keys one that locks
the fraternal door, they may come to both. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye
shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you," perhaps equally applies to both.
And here the parallel ends. Masonry, fundamentally, takes the man, the material,
because it is sound. The Church takes him because he has a creed. It makes this the
supreme and final test. If the creed is wrong, or lacking, all is wrong. If the creed is
right, all MAY be right. But what churchman would dare to say "creed right, man
right." Far be it from me to criticise the Church in this matter, I am simply stating
facts. I must believe, however, that it is largely the differences noted herein that to a
great extent answer the questions as to why the Church in adult male membership is
so fast declining.
Nature is the basis and background of all things. Human nature is the highest
expression of nature and must be met measured and cared for in a NATURAL way.
Further than that, whatever prerogative the supernaturalist may assume, human
nature, relatively speaking, in the final analysis, will never go.
The work of the world for social, ethical and moral uplift, to achieve a maximum of
success, must originate and be carried on from a practical standpoint. It must take
the material, the man, as it finds him, and not on points that in themselves cannot
guarantee his character and by which it would sort him out from the rest of the world
for its special own.
While the institution may have the highest human ideals, it cannot conceive that its
material for its human Temple in the quarries and forests and mines can be finished
in advance of its being passed upon as GOOD material for its final place. Masonry is
of worth to the world only as it builds well and it cannot build without the human
material and to its glory be it said that among these necessary quantities there is
found many "diamonds in the rough." So while man, to a given formality, must be
"made over" to be eligible to a place in the Church, Masonry takes him, practically,
as it finds him, and it is in the hearts of most men to render themselves deserving of
the confidence reposed.
I have long believed that every man who truly desires to be good and do good
should be eligible for Church membership. Why not? The Church, as such, is a man-
made institution from start to finish. Christ himself never even suggested such an
institution as the Church as we know it. We must conceive of Him only as the
founder of the Kingdom of the Heavens among men. "According to your FAITH be
it unto you," was His only test. It would seem to be beyond the imagination of a
normal mind to conceive of this King of the Kingdom of the Heavens as descending
from the sublime pinnacle of faith for His subjects to the wicket gate of the
formalism of which the Churches have made Him their guardian.
But the scales are falling from men's eyes. The Kingdom, as it relates to individuals,
is in the heart, and as it relates to the world, in practical, or applied Christianity.
While Masonry makes no claim to being a religion, "it is so far interwoven with it as
to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity which at once
constitutes our duty and our happiness." This sublime declaration is a "clearing
house" of spiritual and Divine ethics. No single man-made sentence ever meant
more. In its directness and simplicity it constitutes the very foundation of the
Kingdom of the Heavens in the soul. It is a declaration as broad as the universe. It
suggests no anticipated formality or creed, and alludes to no authority but duty, and
duty glorified is a privilege for love is the motive, the angel who presides at the
throne of the heart.
The man of affairs, especially, has a strong social instinct. He loves an
unincumbered personality more than an opinionated individualism. Every man has,
or should have, his close friends among all shades of religious belief, all political
parties, all professions, in short among all men who are MEN, and he will, so long
as such can meet in the bonds of Brotherhood on the Level, act by the Plumb, and
part on the Square, find this powerful social instinct met and satisfied and in a
dignified and uplifting way than which it may be said that the genius of man has
never been able to improve upon.
The Church, as constituted, goes forward mainly on spiritual lines weighted down
with dogmas. Masonry progresses on practical lines supported by brotherly love,
relief and truth - the universal Brotherhood of man. The Church has been the
architect of its own misfortunes, but this is not the place to enumerate them. Even as
it is, it is a world necessity for it may mean something for good to every person from
childhood to the grave.
Every man who is both a Churchman and a Mason should be a better Mason
therefor. Every man who is a good Mason should be a better subject - of the
Kingdom of the Heavens - the true Church of God. No institution, in the old
orthodox sense, can save a man. He is solely the architect of his own destiny. If he is
trusting to his Church or his Order for the salvation as understood by the above
classification, he is building on the sand. Neither the one nor the other can obtain it
for him, but they may both be the means - blessed means - to the best there is for
earth and what may follow on.
L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.
Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below, -
The canticles of love and woe.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken;
The word of seers or sybils told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind.
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
- R.W. Emerson
ONE HOLY CHURCH
One holy Church of God appears
Through every age and race,
Unwasted by the lapse of years,
Unchanged by changing place.
From oldest time on farthest shores,
Beneath the pine or palm,
One Unseen Presence she adores,
With silence or with psalm.
Her priests are all God's faithful sons,
To serve the world raised up;
The pure in heart her baptized ones,
Love, her communion-cup.
The Truth is her prophetic gift,
The Soul her sacred page;
And feet on mercy's errand swift
Do make her pilgrimage.
- Samuel Longfellow